Prologue

Most people would say that the life I live is a life of damnation and loneliness. Living an eternal life was not what I had planned. Having a deathly illness I had been in the small hospital in my un-existing town. He came to me after I had been in it for only a month, his name was Jalel. He told me that he could cure my illness, using a type of medicine that the doctors didn't know of. I figured I was dying any way what was one more treatment, so I accepted.

He then told me in his arms, wiping the beads of sweat from my forehead as he pulled me up in a sitting position. Moving my head slightly to an angle to expose the column of my throat he smiled, telling me that it would hurt for only a second. I listened and watched in silence as he lowered his mouth to my neck. Before I could comment I felt a piercing but sweet pain in my neck, and then nothing. When I woke I knew almost immediately something had changed about me. And there was Jalel standing next to the window. He told me that he was a vampire and that I was now considered the un-dead.

But I have made it work, in more ways then one. During the first few years, around mid 1600's, I mingled and fed off the humans. I glorified in what you would say the kill of an innocent life. Then during the 1800's, after the war between my kind and the humans I did what most of my kind did, I slept an eternal sleep. My master had died by another's hand although who I am not sure so I was free. I lay there in my tomb wondering about the outside world. Hearing it move all around me, changing with every step. But I kept sleeping nothing bothering me and peace.

Chapter 1

One night while Courtney lay in her tomb, quite as it was she felt a strange power. So strong it pulled it began pulling her towards the surface causing her to claw her way up. Breathing her first breath of fresh air in two centuries, she looked around her eyes having to once again adjust to the vivid colors that surrounded her. Stretching her limbs from every angle, no longer feeling crunched in a small place. When she finally stepped from her tomb she was overwhelmed with all the movement. The brightness of the lights, and the sounds of the vehicles moving over the black gravel with ease.

Courtney dusted herself off as much as she could, and made her way out of the cemetery, moving quicker then the human eye could see. She needed to feed; the hunger was raging inside of her as she easily passed the people crowding the streets and sidewalks. Stopping when she spotted her victim, blue eyes blonde hair, perfect for a quick snack. Whispering in his mind Courtney called to him. He followed her as she walked down a hidden alley, with more giddiness then she had expected for a man who was about to become dinner. He moved his head aside as she asked him to, and ran her tongue across his beating pulse and it leapt in response. Sinking her lengthened incisors in him she drank, he was so sweet after so many years of nothing but sleep. Sealing his wounds by sweeping her tongue across the pin points healing them with the saliva in her mouth. She then wiped his memory clean as she left him half dazed in the alley and approached the sidewalk. The power that had disturbed her needed to be found. But first she had to find out if there was anyone left of her old life, she would need there help.

Marveling at all the many changes, not only in the vehicles but in the humans as well. They walked around as if they didn't have a care in the world. One thing that had caught her eye was a young girl wearing a button saying "VAMPIRES ARE PEOPLE TOO!!" What on earth that was about she didn't know, so brushing it off thinking the girl was crazy, she kept walking on. But then more and more people were wearing similar buttons. My, my, my, that was surely odd. What on earth was going on? Courtney thought as she kept walking. Opening her mind to the people around her, she saw what they saw. Fear, courage, taste, touch all senses belonged to her as well. A young girl about three people behind her was following Courtney knowing exactly what she was. She was hoping that Courtney was leading her to a coven, wanting to join she had decided to follow her but not be noticed.

Ignoring her Courtney went to the next available host, he was a young man with slightly waving brown hair and light green eyes. He knew where a coven happened to be and that was where he was headed. Looking at his arms and on his up torso which he had left bare were but marks. Some were vampire some were shape-shifter, he was a human slave. The coven we were heading to was actually a nightclub called Erotica, and owned by the new master of the city. Well now this would be interesting, what the hell was master of the city?

We ended up near the outskirts of town, where it was less bright and you saw more of the night sky. Stopping in front of a dimly lit building Courtney watched as the young man was walked in. The girl behind me no longer was caring whether she was seen or not rushed forward to the front door. I stood waiting and watching there was a doorman waiting outside, a were-leopard to be exact. He was a big black male with a bald head; he was intimidating standing there with shade covering his eyes. The man glanced at me from behind those shades as Courtney approached the door, smiled and opened the door opened wide enough for her to enter. The pulse of the music hit her first, rolling in waves across her skin as the door was closed tightly behind.

Sitting at a booth in the back Courtney watched others around her. The scent of her kind was un-avoidable. But there was also the scent of shape-shifters and humans all over. The smell of fresh blood awakened the hunger that she had yet to fully sate, and she scowled. Looking at the tables around her, she could see that some groups were being intimate, some arguing and gambling so basically everyone was having a good time. A young blond waitress walked towards me her hair and chest bouncing with every step she took.

"Now I know I've neva seen you here be fou." She paused the smiled. "The more the merrier what can I getcha?" she said pulling out a pen and paper.

Waving her away I continued watching everyone around me. I spotted him before I smelled him and he was headed right at me, Elijah. As he made his way toward me, he moved with a cat like grace, as id he wasn't walking but gliding towards me. There was no welcome in his dark green eyes, not even a smile upon his perfect mouth. Only the cold gaze that could turn anyone to ice if he wished. His raven black hair was longer then I remembered falling past his waist now. He was dressed in black leather pants, no shirt, no shoes. The scar of a small cross under his right nipple was bright against his skin. I had a similar scar under mine as well. Telling all that we had belonged to someone one once before.

I glanced behind him and saw a few others I recognized from my younger years. Doron a tall black male, now more muscular, but hey a lot happens to old friends when you sleep for 200 years. Chaquita a Hispanic Goth. Chaylyn who was my worst nightmare when it came to Elijah. Tech, another black male who was as I last remembered fond of the opposite sex. Kelly was there as well, following, a big smile on his face. And my least favorite Vinchenzo the man was always cranky especially when it came to the protection of Elijah.

"Well, well, well look who decided to join our little party." Replied Chaylyn. Ever since we met she hated me because I had had Elijah all to myself.

Tech as usual plopped down next to me throwing his arm over my shoulder. "Damn girl you look worse then the dead but welcome back." He said smiling at me. "I have someone I want you to meet." He looked past Chaquita's shoulder and waved at a young man. Before he moved I caught a glimpse of bright neon green hair. As he moved to our table and sat next to Tech. I had to once again adjust my eyes because not only was his hair neon green but so was the rest of his outfit. "This is Josiah." Tech said pulling Josiah closer trailing his finger down the mans forearm. "Josiah, meet Courtney."

He nodded in my direction but didn't speak aloud. Kelly stepped forward and sat on the other side of me. "So what brings you down to our happy little home? Last I remembered you were snoring in la la land." He said laughing. Kelly wasn't a very serious person unless the time called for it. He had saved my ass a more times then I could remember in the past.

"A surge of power woke me." I said simply. The only person who had reacted the way I wanted them to was Elijah, but he changed his expression before I could see it clearly.

"Really," Chaquita said smiling at me. "Well maybe you should have felt it earlier because girl you are looking busted." She said referring to what I looked like.

I looked down into my lap and figured she was right. The black skirt and top I had remembered sleeping in were full of holes. Not to mention I was completely covered in dirt. Before I could ask Elijah suggested a bathroom.

"There is a small private bathroom upstairs to your left. You may use it to clean up. I'll have someone come up with a fresh outfit and soaps." He said it not even cracking the slightest of a grin and walked away Chaylyn following every step of the way. I guess some things never change.

The room was as Elijah said to the left of the stairs. I walked in the small but quaint bathroom, and turned the shower on full blast. While I had been downstairs with the welcome committee they had ran me through the changes of society. Apparently my-kind were considered citizens, with legal rights. Some change after the war I had witnessed between my kind and the humans. Oh well all was for the best, I could adjust I always had. I stripped out of my clothes and stepped into the steaming shower. The water hit me in a rush and I sighed as it engulfed me in hot spray. Soaking for about a half-hour I decided to actually wash. On the opposite side of the shower sat body wash, shampoo and conditioner. As well as a new change of clothes on the counter across the room. I hadn't heard anyone come in, but there was proof that someone had. I picked up the Strawberries 'n Cream shampoo, my favorite. Someone who knew me well had placed these here and there was no reason in asking whom.

When I finally stepped out of the shower, the bathroom was fogged up. Drying off I slipped into the blood red strapless shirt and black bell bottom jeans, along with a pair of steal toed boots. I stepped out onto the small balcony and jumped the rail, landing on the balls of my feet. I needed to get out, I needed the night to coat me like a second skin. So I ran I ran so far the music from the club was but a faint whisper. As I looked into the clearing I could see a house. As I grew nearer the house reminded me of the one our master had, a small replica of the huge house. I had loved that house until the war had started and it was burnt to the ground.

"I had it built years ago, but it has been vacant for some time now." Elijah said from behind me. I jumped at hearing his voice since I haven't even sensed him anywhere near here. I looked at him, he had put on a shirt but he still wore no shoes. He didn't look at me but kept staring at the house. "Have you fed at all tonight Courtney?" he asked.

Wow Courtney, he had never used my actual name before. It had always been Court, even when we hadn't been sleeping together. "I have, but decided better on killing him so I let him go."

He looked at me then his eyes still showing nothing and then it hit me his shield was up. But why?

"There used to be a time when you would say what the hell with humans. If you were hungry you'd kill it no matter what it was." He said looking down then up at me again.

"Times change." That was all I said as I felt another presence and we were soon blessed with Chaylyn's beautiful face over his shoulder. She was glaring at me. She put up no shield so I could feel her hate and jealousy so bad it stung.

"Elijah sweetie Tech needs you for some technical difficulty in the club." She said walking in front of him, so that he had to look at her instead of me. She was marking her territory as she rubbed her luscious curves against his torso. He seemed not to notice as he looked over her shoulder towards me.

"I will send Chaquita to you later to show you to your room." He said not paying attention to Chaylyn's gasp of shock.

"Thanks" I said, there was really no where else for me to go. And since he looked like he wasn't glad to give it I left out the "I really appreciate it" part. I watched as Elijah walked away, leaving Chaylyn and I alone.

"So Chaylyn how's it going?" I said slowly waiting for the explosion.

"Ohh don't give me that, "I am your best friend" bullshit." Chaylyn said throwing her hands on her hips. "Now you listen to me Elijah's mine I've worked way to damn hard to make him mine." She said putting her finger on my chest and pushing. "So mind your distance."

I looked at her finger then at her. Back in the day if you even laid a finger on me that finger would be gone. But now as I looked at it I really didn't feel like getting into an argument. "Whatever Chaylyn you can have him I don't want him anymore." I said looking at her. I guess she had wanted a fight because she creamed and disappeared without another word. Turning back towards the house I looked at it and saw the smaller replica of our old home. He said he had it built but no one lived in it, wondering why I began the long walk back to the club. Why had he had it built for no reason and for whom?

Back at the club it had gotten a little bit more crowded then it had been when I had left. I found a different table in the middle of the room. Ordering a drink from the floppy blonde haired waitress I watched those around me. So times had changed a lot since I had been gone, it was scary when you thought of it. I had fallen into sleep when vampires were amongst the most hated creatures on earth.

"A penny for your thoughts." Kelly said as he sat in one of the open chairs next to me.

"Just thought thinking about the old days." I said looking at him. He had changed clothes, now he was wearing, well practically nothing but a leather black thong. "What on earth are you wearing?"

He looked down then back up at me, an evil grin on his face. "Oh sorry I just got off stage. This is my costume." He said standing showing it off then sitting back down. "I dance on stage, making all the girls drool ya know."

No I didn't know the outfit he had on was nothing but his underwear. "Well can't you dance in something a little more," I paused looking for the right word. "Over-all covered?"

"Nope." He put his hand on top of mine leaning in close. "I forgot you've been asleep for awhile. I'm an erotic dancer. I show off all my goods which brings in more customers. Chaylyn, Doron, Alicia and Jade do it to." He said looking on stage as it got dark. "Oh shhh it's time watch this."

Still wondering about his current occupation I looked up at the stage. It had gone dark, and the club was hushed all eyes on the stage. The spot on the stage showed up and Elijah was standing at the mike a guitar in his hands. He started singing, and he had that kind of voice that could make you feel like anything or anybody in the world.

It felt like you were being wrapped in silk as he phrased his words. Even though they were sad words it made you feel higher then high. I watched him, my eyes never leaving his face. His eyes were closed as he sang, feeling his words just as much as everyone else. He must have felt me looking because he opened his eyes and looked right into mine. His eyes were burning into mine, he was singing to me. His voice flowed over me, like a silken caress, and I closed my eyes and moved with him. I had missed this feeling, the burn so low and aching to be touched. In his mind alone he knew me well enough to know where I wanted to be touched. And I was reminded of our times together, the good and bad. Opening my eyes I watched him look away in pain, but not faltering from his song till it ended.

When he started on the next I stood up and walked away. Finding Chaquita in one of the back private rooms I entered. "Elijah said that you would show me to my room."

Looking up from magazine she was reading she looked confuse. "Don't you want to stay for the rest of the show?"

"I'd rather not." I said not looking away from her. She shrugged stood and left the room expecting me to follow her. So I did. Feeling Kelly's eyes on my back, even then I didn't look back. Because in doing so I would have to look towards the stage, and that I didn't want to do.

In the small room near the back I looked around. I saw my old coffin already prepared as if I had been expected. "Thanks Chaquita." I watched as she left the room, looking at me like I was crazy for not finishing the show. Frankly I didn't want to feel the way he had made feel again. It hurt knowing that I could never have that again. Elijah and I were never apart. Everyone knew about the lovers who were unbeatable in any battle. No one had dared challenge us, making us Jared's favorites. We had been his only protection when we were a family, he had needed no one else. But then Elijah had changed, said we weren't powerful, but murders. We would kill anyone or anything that stepped up to us. Our food was nothing but livestock, taking out villages in one night. Feasting on the most helpless, playing with them. Calling out there fears as we watched we only got more excited for the kill.

But he refused to kill anymore and that made Jared and me angry. I was childish back then I know, but that's how it was. Jared punished him by locking him in a coffin with a big silver cross on top for three years. When he finally let him out Elijah had been worthless, weak and was no longer any good to him. So Jared cut the connection he had with him and sent him on his way. It hurt more then anyone knew to watch him walk away and disappear. I argued with Jared, well begged him to allow Elijah to come back, but he just told me to move on. My heart wasn't worth giving to such a powerless being. So I adjusted, I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. Elijah returned on the day the war had started, when I saw him I smiled. When he saw me he scowled and pushed me away walking past me. It had hurt but I didn't have a chance to talk to him about it because outside chaos was spreading.

We barley had time to get out of the house when the humans attacked us. They had come in angry mobs, swinging there crosses and stakes. I escaped luckily with my life, but as for my family only the few upstairs had survived the attack. A knock at my door brought me to the present. "Come in." the door opened and the young man I had followed here and Doron stepped in.

"I can feel your hunger all the way upstairs Court." He said smiling at me. "I bring a gift to you. His name is Paul, and he belongs to me."

"I cannot take this from you Doron." I said as I watched, no heard the young man's pulse in my head like a drum. I sat down on a near by vanity chair holding my head.

"Now Court you know how I feel when you don't except the gift that I have offered you." Doron walked towards me, kneeling at my knees. When I looked up Paul had come as close as Doron. That's when I noticed the leather studded collar around his neck. A long leash was connected to it and Doron held the other end. "Paul does not mind that you wish to feed off him, he quite enjoys it actually. Don't you Paul." Doron said smiling at the blonde haired boy.

Paul stepped closer to me and nodded. "Oh yes please Mistress I wish for you to feed. I cannot bear to see you suffer like this." Paul begged as he laid his head upon my thigh.

I could feel my incisors lengthening at the sweet offer. He was so willing and his pulse was now like the sound of thunder in my head. But I bit down so that I was not so tempted to sink my teeth into him and tasted my own blood. Closing my eyes I took two deep breaths. "No Doron, take him and leave now." In my current state I would kill the boy, I wonder if Doron knew that. My eyes still closed I felt the boys head leave my thigh and then the door shutting.

When I decided that it was safe I opened my eyes. Doron had left but Paul was still kneeling before me, his collar had disappeared. He sat up straight so that his eyes were level with mine. Leaning forward he placed his mouth on my heart above my breast. Then using his tongue he made a trail down over my breast and bit the tip of my nipple. I moaned at the feeling and he took it as an invitation because he moved lower and bit the inside of my thigh. I was so hungry and now he was making it worse, not having sex in about oh two hundred years wasn't healthy.

I pushed him away, but when he started to crawl back I stood pointed to the door and told him to leave. He looked at me confused at first but then stood and walked to the door. He paused with his hand on the door knob, and turned and looked at me. "I don't understand am I not appealing to you?"

"Believe me kid I would if I could but I can't that's not who I am anymore." I said and watched him walk out shutting the door lightly behind him. I disappeared in a cloud of mist and appeared back at the house I had found earlier. I searched the area and when I finally knew that no one was there. I screamed. I screamed until my voice went hoarse. I collapsed on my knees tired and weak and did something that I hadn't done in two centuries I cried, watching the blood red tears stain the grass under my hands. I had never been this weak and it hurt, but I didn't want to go back to the old ways. And now that times had changed and the humans wanted us to bite them, I was so confused. So I cried harder, and when the tears stopped coming I laid down in the smooth grass. Sunrise was coming, I could feel it, and my body was growing heavy from it. It was just so tempting to sit there and wait for it so I stayed, and no one came.