A/N: Chapter Fifteen has sucessfully helped me procrastinate studying for midterms. Anywho, now that's out of my brain, off to launch an attack against chemistry. See A/N at bottom for more info.


Chapter Fifteen

Eryn looked up into Vlad's eyes, Nick's body falling slowly to the ground. "What? You tricked me!" The anger in her voice was tangible; the fire in her eyes making the air almost too thick to breathe. She screamed in frustration, her fist cutting through the air.

Vlad caught her arm before the fist came in contact with his face. "Don't," he said calmly, but Eryn was on a rampage. He grasped her other arm and pushed her against the wall firmly, but with only enough pressure to calm the beast. There was no sense in being horrible to her, like Slade had. "I said don't." There was finality in his voice.

Eryn was momentarily stunned, but the feeling lasted only several seconds. "What the hell is wrong with you?! You're no better than he was," she spat. Pushing off from the wall and yanking her arms from his fists, she turned on her heel and began to stride away. He caught her shoulder.

"Will you calm down and listen to me for a second?" he asked, slightly exasperated. Despite the look of fiery protest in her eyes, she stopped, riddling his perfect face with eye daggers. "Nick attacked you. He tried to hurt you. I can't let anyone get away with that. This clan and you are all I have. By preceding laws of punishment, he should have died in a much more painful and gruesome way than that, but ever since you came along, I can't stomach the thought of anyone being tortured. Besides," he added, "You needed to learn to feed. I'd say you have a handle on the basics now." He smiled sincerely. "So what do you say we go and master the art?"

Eryn stared at him for a moment, taking it all in, as if trying to decide whether she should agree and gladly accept or threaten his life. She smiled a bit and looked toward his face, but the smile quickly turned into a smirk. "What else have you lied to me about? I trusted you." Not giving him a chance to answer, she turned and stalked away.

The sharp, harsh rapping on the door broke Selena from her reverie. She stood gracefully and fluttered to the door, surprised to see Eryn on her stoop. "What are you doing here?" she asked, her voice gentle and musical, caught by surprise.

"What a way to greet a guest," Eryn muttered. She turned away.

"No, don't go!" Selena called after her. "I was just…surprised to see you, that's all." Relieved that Vlad hasn't killed you yet would be more appropriate, she thought to herself. She opened the door wider and led Eryn inside and to a small sitting area of warm, dark brown leather couches. Selena motioned for her to take a seat, and chose one opposite her, curling her legs up under her, surprised when Eryn did the same.

"I didn't know anyone else sat like that," Eryn said passively, realizing how stupid the comment was after she had said it. "I mean, I guess I didn't think I could be the only one…"

"Hah, I know what you mean," Selena said warmly, wondering where this was going. She could stay like this, making small talk, forever, but she doubted seriously that this was Eryn's intent. Eryn looked very distraught, and she wondered what her real reason was for coming.

"I need to know what Vlad did to you," Eryn finally said, breaking the silence. "I mean, I assumed he did something to you, since you seemed so adamant that I not trust him." Eryn looked to Selena's face, which was contorted as if she had just taken a bite out of a very large lemon. The remnants of tears pooled in her eyes, and she immediately turned away from Eryn. "I'm sorry," she said quietly. "I didn't know you were so sensitive about it."

"It's fine. It was ages ago. Three years ago this February. I never thought…What kills me is that it's happened so many times. In the past three years, since Slade had gotten so desperate, we've been through a grand total of fifty-two mortal girls, most of them your age, and only three of them have lasted long enough for Slade to realize that they're wrong for him but they are powerful companions and turn them. In the past three years, he has created six daughter clans, all bearing one of his kind as the head. He made sure none of them were as powerful as us. Vlad helped him. Vlad was the one who…" She drew a quick intake of breath. "Vlad was the one who captured all of them, and Vlad was the one who killed forty-nine innocent mortal girls within the past three years. He tortured them, and all for fun after he promised me, promised me…" Selena was sobbing by now, and Eryn quietly strode over to put an arm around her.

"What did he promise you?" Eryn whispered.

"He swore upon his immortal life that he would never hurt anyone again. And then these girls come along and he didn't understand why I couldn't bear it. I couldn't stand that he would capture and kill blindly. He told me it was because he wanted power. He was going to work for Slade until the opportune moment, and then we would rule together. I told him I wouldn't be a part of that, and he…" Her breath caught, and she pushed herself forward. "He forced me out just before dawn. There was a pack of wolves near, and they nearly tore me to shreds. He knew all about them. He watched from the window, thinking this would show me. He told me later that he never intended for me to die. I almost did. If vampires weren't stronger than any non-magical creature any day, I wouldn't be alive…but anyway. He was sucking up to Slade so that he could gain power and one day take over. And that's how he used you. He loves you, yes, but that's only because you obey him. He loved you when Slade was here because you became his excuse to kill him. Is there real love there? Maybe. But it's buried underneath all this lust and the search for power, because that's all that matters to him. Listen to him, actually listen, when he talks to you. He's in love with the power you brought him."

Eryn was stunned. It made sense, though. She knew that he was power hungry, but she could deal with that, if only he shared the love with her.

"I have to go. I'm so sorry he did that to you, but I love this man. He did some horrible things, but if he can love me, he can give me the only thing I really need." Eryn's anger had not dissipated, but she realized that she should have made some things clear: he was not in charge of her. She could deal with his quest for power, but the one thing she could not deal with was his lies. She was going to show him that he couldn't boss her around. On impulse, she kissed Selena's forehead, and left.

son of the A/N: Ok. So, after I finish BH, I'm considering writing a new story. I have 2 ideas in mind, but want an opinion because I only want to do one at a time. Should I:

a) write a story about a female gladiator (historically based on Roman society-yay Latin III)

b) write this story: All her life, Steele has served Him. She does not know where she came from or why she's there, but she obeys him, until Nicolaus comes along...(basically- it was inspired by Fahrenheit 451 but will not have any striking similarities. Also, it's not a love story, since I have the tendancy to make those end unhappily.)