Erik led the way with Kendra, Gertrude, and Howard walking behind us. The inside was just as bleak as the outside and Erik snorted.
"As cliché as ever," he muttered.
"Shut up," the young man snapped. "Show some respect."
"Just take us to him," Erik snapped back.
The young man rolled his eyes and continued to lead us through many doors. We soon went into a dining room and, at a table set for six, was a tall man with long black hair and blue eyes. When he saw Erik, he grinned broadly and hugged him tightly.
"My son," he said, holding him at arm's length. "You look wonderful."
"I am not your son," Erik said darkly.
"Who is this lovely woman?" his master asked, ignoring him.
Erik sighed. "This is my wife, Camille," he said and the master kissed my hand. "Our daughter, Kendra." He stared at Kendra with lustful eyes and I gripped Erik's hand. He shook his head in warning at me. "And, finally, our good friends, Gertrude and Howard."
"You keep company with humans?" he whispered. "How strange. And this girl...."
"They adopted me," Kendra said, hiding behind me.
He smiled, revealing his fangs. "I will not hurt you, little girl." She didn't answer. "Please everyone. Sit. I'm sure you're hungry."
Erik nodded at us and we sat down, me with some difficulty. I was exhausted from everything and I put my hand on my stomach. The master narrowed his eyes briefly but remained silent on the matter. Plates were brought in for the humans and Erik nodded again after inspecting Kendra's plate.
"It is safe," he promised and his master arched a brow.
"Since when did you become so suspicious?" he asked.
"You learn to be over time," Erik answered quietly.
"Do you have a name?" I asked the master and he laughed.
"Yes, I haven't introduced myself, have I?" He cleared his throat. "Sir Benjamin, at your service." His eyes traveled to Kendra. "All of your services."
I glared at him and rejected the blood in front of me. I didn't feel like I could stomach anything that wasn't Erik's blood.
"So, bandits," Benjamin said. "Quite unpleasant men, aren't they?"
"Why are we here?" Erik demanded.
"Your daughter's marble," he said simply. "Beautiful Kendra called of its help and it sent you to a safe place."
Erik's jaw clenched again. "This is not a safe place for my family," he hissed. "I know you have something to do with this tampering."
Benjamin chuckled. "I have a room set up for you. I'm sorry but it will be cramped." His eyes slid to me. "Though for you, Camille, I am concerned."
"Why?" I asked.
His eyes then went to my stomach. "Because of the abomination growing in your stomach."
I glared. "What is that supposed to mean!?"
He leaned forward. "Vampires cannot have children," he said. "However, there was a prophecy, a prophecy made many years ago, about my death. It is said it will come by the hands of a child born of two vampires." He smiled unpleasantly at my stomach. "I will not give it the chance."
I gasped and scrambled to my feet, putting my hands on my stomach.
"You will not touch my baby!"
He smirked, standing slowly. "Perhaps not now," he agreed. "But once you have given birth-"
Erik snarled and pinned Benjamin to the wall, his hand at his throat. Benjamin smirked at him.
"What are you going to do, Erik?" he asked quietly. "Kill me?"
Erik's hand tightened on his throat and I held my breath. Kendra scurried to my side and I held her tightly.
"That's what I thought," Benjamin whispered as Erik slowly let him go, his face furious. "To the room," he said to someone else and we were all grabbed roughly and led to a room.
I was put on the bed and started to cry when the door slammed shut. Erik sat beside me and closed his eyes, kissing my cheek.
"It will be okay," he whispered, putting a hand on my stomach. "I will not let him hurt you or our child."
"Erik," I whimpered and he put his head on mine. "What if he tries-?"
The door opened and a woman walked in. She looked around us until she got to Kendra. She smirked at the little girl.
"Well," she said. "Now I know why he is so interested in you."
"Don't you dare!" Gertrude said, getting in the way when the woman reached for Kendra.
"Out of the way, pathetic human," she snarled and pushed Gertrude into Howard.
"No!" I breathed as she grabbed Kendra.
Cami shot out and scratched at the woman's hand. She cried out and swung. The kitten flew and Erik caught her. In the haste, the woman was dragging a kicking and screaming Kendra. I sobbed and struggled out of the bed. Erik ran for the door but it shut before he could get to it.
"Kendra!" I sobbed.
"Let me go," I snapped, pulling on her arm.
"No, I don't think so," she said smoothly. "Stop fighting me. The master wants to see you. You should consider yourself lucky."
I didn't stop fighting her, though, and she stopped outside a door. I bit her hand and she slapped me, throwing the door open. She shoved me inside and slammed it. I heard a lock click and got to my feet, shaking. I was in a bedroom. There was a large bed with red velvet blankets, a wardrobe, a vanity, and a desk. At the desk sat-
"You must have done something quite horrid to be tossed in so by Noreen," Sir Benjamin said quietly, standing up from his chair. "I'll have to talk to her about harming such a beautiful young woman." He walked over and I backed up into the wall. "You don't need to be afraid of me, dear Kendra." He stopped in front of me then got on his knees. "I am curious about you."
"Why?" I whispered, shaking.
"Somehow, you have evaded my son's desires," he said quietly.
"He-He has my mama," I said.
"Mm, perhaps," he said slowly.
He reached around me and pulled my hair in front of me. I whimpered as he ran his fingers through it. His eyes ran up and down my body.
"Are you really going to kill their baby?" I asked, tears streaming down my face.
He tilted his head. "Do you love your unborn sibling?" he asked and I nodded. His blue eyes narrowed as he put both hands on either side of my head. "How about I make a deal with you, Kendra?"
"A deal? What kind of deal?"
He leaned forward and put his nose on my neck. I shuddered as he inhaled deeply. His breath was warm as he exhaled.
"So sweet," he breathed. "Tell me first: why have you not become a vampire yet?"
"Mama said I'll look 12 forever," I whispered.
He smiled and tucked some hair behind my ear.
"What if I told you I can make you look young and beautiful forever? To those around, you would seem 18. What would you say to that?"
"But Mama said-"
"I've been alive for centuries longer than your mama," he interrupted. "Here is my deal, beautiful Kendra: You agree to lay with me and be mine, and I will spare all those below, including the unborn."
I looked at his eyes, shaking. He put his lips against mine and I tried to turn away. He grabbed my chin.
"Don't," he said gruffly. "Do it or I will kill everyone."
I whimpered and closed my eyes. We both knew my answer, though, and his hands slowly went up my dress.