The first thing I felt was cold. My whole body was shivering as I opened my eyes. I looked around me. I was chained up in a small cell. I tried to move but my hands and ankles were bound in irons. I whimpered in fear and struggled against the chains.
"There is no point in fighting."
I looked up. It was my father. He was glaring at me as if I were trash.
"Father," I begged. "Please. Do not do this. It was not me. I swear on my life it was not me."
His blue eyes stared into mine coldly. "How did you keep it a secret for 23 years?"
Tears fell down my ice cold face. "I was not like this the whole time! I was turned the night I disappeared! Please! I was abducted and he kept me from contacting you!"
"Vampires lie," he whispered and looked around the cell. "I had this built after the third attack. I have read stories, you see. They say silver is the best defense against vampires. I had the chains infused with silver. Silver and iron. They make a great team." He sighed and opened the cell door. "A man will come tomorrow. It is time for London to learn more about vampires."
My lower lip trembled. "You are going to turn me into a test subject?" I whimpered.
He just closed the door on me, locking it, and I went limp against my binds, sobbing.
"Wake up," a cold voice said.
I blinked a few times and lifted my head. A short man with brown hair and brown eyes stood in front of me. He had a bag in one hand that made me uneasy. His other hand was stroking a brown beard.
"What a shock," he murmured. "The Duke's daughter is the vampire that killed all those innocent young women."
"It was not me," I snapped.
He didn't respond. Instead, he set the bag down and rummaged around through it.
"We don't know much about vampires," he said. "We've read stories of course, heard rumors, but nothing concrete. The one that interests your father the most has to do with silver."
I pressed myself against the wall, shaking, as he brought out a silver chain and silver dagger. He laughed at the horrified look on my face.
"So, the legends are true," he said. "But will it kill you all the way?"
"Please," I whimpered. "Just leave me be. You are mistaken. Do not do this."
He smirked. "A vampire begging me," he said and laughed cruelly. "Oh, how delicious."
I whimpered again as he walked closer with the silver. I shook, trying to get out of my bonds. I bet at him but he easily dodged my attacks. Suddenly, my neck was burning and I screamed at the top of my lungs, all four fangs extending, as pain I never knew exploded in my body. I screamed so hard my throat felt like it was close to tearing.
And then the pain was gone and my body went limp. I panted as the man made a humming noise.
"Interesting," he murmured. "All that remains is a mark. But why did it not kill you?"
I didn't answer and he slapped me.
"I do not know," I panted. "Just leave me be."
"What about a dagger to the heart?" he sneered. I didn't respond again. He grabbed my right arm and stuck the tip of the dagger on it. I screamed again as he cut my arm. "You still bleed. You do not heal. Interesting," he repeated.
"W-We cannot heal from silver," I said, my vision blurred.
He wrapped my arm with a bandage. The cut went from the inside of my elbow down to my wrist.
"Hmm," he said. "I think that's all I will do for now." He smirked at me. "I hope you're comfortable, Duchess Camille. You'll be here until I decide I'm done with you."
He left and I sobbed. How did my father know such a cruel man? I closed my eyes and a vision exploded in my mind.
"What do you mean?" Ilya snarled, pushing the guard against the wall.
"They took her to the dungeons," the guard gasped, looking horrified. "S-Said she was a vampire."
"Who sent her?" Erik demanded.
"D-Duke A-A-Abbott," the guard managed.
Ilya dropped him.
"You're not going to kill me?" the guard gasped.
"No. But he might."
Ilya continued walking as Erik descending on the guard.
The man came back the next day for more 'experiments' as he called them. It was just more torture and I was getting weaker to the point where I could just lay limp in my bonds and wait for death.
"Why?" the man demanded when I didn't respond.
"Weak," I murmured.
"Why?" he repeated.
"No blood," I managed.
"You're pathetic," he spat and put the silver branding rod on the floor.
He left and I sighed. He called me that every time I screamed, every time I begged him to stop. If only he knew that he was the pathetic one. When my eyes closed again, I had another vision.
Erik and Ilya lingered in the shadows. Erik was fighting with his vampire and Ilya put his hand on his shoulder.
"We will get her out of there," he whispered.
"Yes, yes we will," Erik snarled. "And when we do, I will kill her father."
"Calm yourself, brother. If you lose your mind, you will do Camille no good."
Erik gripped his hands into fists. "She is dying, Ilya. I can feel it. We have to hurry."
The door opened and I looked up. A little girl was pushed into the cell.
"Feed," the torturer snapped. "I expect you to be strong enough by the time I come back."
He slammed the door shut and the little girl whimpered, pressing herself against the wall.
"What is your name?" I asked, my voice hoarse.
"K-K-Kendra," she whispered.
"Do not worry, Kendra. I will not hurt you."
She curled into a ball in the far corner. I hung my head and waited for death.
"It wasn't you," she said suddenly and I looked at her.
"It wasn't you that killed my mama," she said.
"What are you talking about?"
"Ten years ago," she whispered. "He killed my mama."
I sighed. "He did not mean to, Kendra." I closed my eyes wearily. "He regrets it very much."
"Papa said it was a male vampire," she continued. "Is he your husband?"
I stared at the floor. "I do not know. Is your father dead?"
"No," she whispered but didn't elaborate.
I fell into silence so I looked at the floor that was stained with my blood. I thought to Erik. He was trying to find me but I knew he wouldn't be able to. I'd be dead before he can. Already I could feel my limbs going numb.
Suddenly, the door was kicked open. I looked up. The torturer stood in front of me, looking furious.
"You've sentenced us to death!" he yelled.
"What are you talking about?"
"You led them here! We're under attack and it's because of you!"
He drove an iron sword through my stomach and I screamed in pain. Kendra was screaming in fear as the torturer yanked it back out. Blood poured onto the floor and my eyesight was fading. Before he could attack me again, delivering the killing blow, the wall shuddered. The three of us looked at it as it shuddered again. The wall exploded and I let out a sob of relief.
It was Erik! His eyes, including the sclera were completely red. His fangs and chin were red from blood. His nails, which were extended, were dripping with red, too. His eyes landed on the torturer who was frozen in fear. Without pausing, he grabbed him from the throat and bit into it, sucking him dry.
Kendra was frozen in fear, pressed against the wall. Erik threw the body out the door, knowing out another guard.
"E-Erik," I said weakly and he looked at me.
His eyes turned blue again and he sobbed.
"Camille," he cried and ran over. "Oh, Camille. I am so sorry. This is all my fault."
"I-I am sorry," I said, blinking heavily. "I-I should have helped you. Now we will both die."
He glared at me. "No one is dying except for these men that hurt you!"
"Look at me, Erik," I said weakly.
He did so and growled in anger. He bit into his wrist.
"Drink," he demanded and I looked at his wrist.
"I cannot move," I said, my words slurring.
"Damn it," he growled and pushed his wrist to my lips.
His blood was sweet on my tongue. As I drank, I felt the wound in my stomach start to heal. Then my body burned and we both yelled in pain.
Erik gripped his right arm.
"What did they do to you?" he sobbed.
Kendra whimpered and Erik snarled at her, his eyes turning red.
"No," I said to him. "No, leave her be." I looked at her. She was staring at Erik in utter fear. "Go, Kendra. They will kill you."
"I want to stay with you," she whimpered. "You saved my life."
I shook my head. "It is too dangerous. Go back to your father."
She shook her head. "I can't."
I sighed but, before I could say anything, we heard more people. Though my wounds were healed, I was still weak and Erik swore. He pulled on the bonds but the silver was keeping them from coming apart.
"Son of a bitch!" he yelled his eyes turning red.
He saw the iron sword and picked it up. I stayed still as he hacked at the chains. Eventually, the gave in and I fell to the ground, the shackles still around my wrists and ankles. I couldn't move so he picked me up.
"Kendra," I whispered. "Do not leave her behind."
"On my back, girl," he said. "Hang on tightly. If you fall, I will not come back for you."
Erik tightened his grip on me as Kendra clambered onto his back and ran out of the hole he had created.