"I remember the first time I looked upon you." The Vampire Staff leant against the granite throne, its clasped orb hovering above my lap. "I was so young, so inexperienced…you frightened me. I was too tense and blind. But you taught me to free the creature inside-and I am glad."

The purple-black storm within the orb replied by dragging an excited wisp of darkness along the glass wall of its prison. We knew each other well.

"Lordess Ghonia." A strong, deliberate voice flew to my ears. I looked up sharply from my one-sided conversation to see a tall, knavish vampire at the doorway of the temple hall. My eyes were drawn to the figure slumped in his arms. I rose from my seat, taking care to hold the Staff so that it did not clatter onto the floor.

"You have Created one?" I inquired, stepping forward in interest.

"Yes, Lordess." The vampire came forward to bow. A soft, troubled moan fled from the mouth of the girl my subject held. She stirred slightly, her limbs twitching. The Change was upon her.

As the vampire rose again, I studied the girl's features. Long, black hair spilled over her captive's arm. Her face was mature and definitive. Dry blood plastered on the side of her neck revealed where pointed fangs had pierced the skin, but instead of dealing death, had given a new form of life.

The coat she wore slipped a little: beneath were thin, skimpy cloths that told me what her previous profession had been. I myself had preyed on her type many times; they haunted dark, less crowded places where it was easy to snatch and slaughter.

"Very good, Amor. Your first Creation." Amor acknowledged my sparsely given praise with a brisk nod. The girl stirred again.

"Shall I take her to the Chamber, Lordess?"

"No." I said, following a moment's thought. "I will. After all, she is my Vampiric granddaughter."

Carefully, Amor transferred the girl into my waiting arms. I'd lain the Vampire Staff across the throne, to free my hands.

"I'm sure she will be an asset to our kind." I curled my lips into a cold smile.

"I'm sure she will, Lordess." Amor graced me with another bow, before turning to leave the hall. I departed another way: down a long, sloping corridor that led to the Chamber of Birth.

Incredibly short, I'm afraid...but never mind.