Prologue

All of my life I've lived inside these walls - taught to fear the night and hate the creatures that thrive in the darkness.

Raised in a prison for my own safety, I find myself wishing for more and hating the very walls that keep me alive. They were built to keep the monsters out… so then why does it always feel like their purpose was to trap me in?

The war between vampires and humans has been raging on for the better part of a century. I'm not entirely sure what started it, how it all began - both sides have their stories. But they have been twisted and changed by word of mouth over the years so much that no one can be certain of the truth anymore.

The story I was told, the version I was raised to believe as the truth was that after the vampires stopped hiding their existence from the world, people were shocked and scared of course… but for a while both of our kinds lived in peace, co-existed as we always had. Just like in the times when we were blissfully unaware of them being more than some ancient myth.

Measures were put in place, such as blood banks - allowing the vampires to feed without harming humans.

But after a while things changed - people got scared, suspecting the vampires of everything bad that you would see on the news, or in papers. The suspicion soon turned to blame - murders, rapes, acts of violence, kidnappings… all blamed on the vampires. Not by everyone mind you, but soon people started to believe… I mean, so many people are saying something is true then it must be right?

Now this is where things get interesting, the part of the story that I've heard so many versions of I'm pretty sure it could easily be a bedtime story designed by worried mothers to keep their children from venturing outside the safety of the walls, the safety of the daytime.

The version I find most believable goes like this; all the blame and suspicion caused constant arguments between the species… the arguments turned to fighting, both sides killing each other - sometimes out of anger, or revenge… in some cases just random acts of violence.

This lead to a power struggle, humans believing the vampires shouldn't exist. That they didn't deserve to exist… and the vampires, well they believed themselves to be superior to humans - they were stronger than us after all, and immortal. And were very bitter about having to hide in the shadows for so long - hiding from the lesser species, they saw themselves at the top of the food chain… and I guess, in a sense they were. They did survive off of our blood after all.

So the war began - a world war. One that would continue for years to come.

Which brings me to now.

Now both sides have stilled, an eerie silent calm - each waiting for the other to make the first move… at night we retreat to the walls of our city, protected by the armed guards and UV lights that make up the perimeter, while the monsters roam free in the darkness beyond the walls that keep us safe from them. And in the day, they go into hiding… escaping the sunlight.

There aren't many of our kind left - or theirs- the stories say we used to cover the globe, billions of humans thriving - with the freedom to venture outside at night. Not having to fear for their lives. But now there are colonies of survivors of the war… we haven't quite reached the point of extinction, there is still millions of us that populate the world but we can't be sure of the exact number and it pales in comparison to how large the population of the human race used to be.

There is 4 thousand people that share the prison that is our protection with me - one of the largest colonies in the country.

The colonies are scattered all over, each varying in size - we keep in contact with the others as best we can, but rarely ever leave the safety of the one we call home to join or visit another unless we have to… no one wants to travel in the night after all. Unless they're brave or stupid… maybe a combination of the two.

So this is my world and for as long as I can remember three facts have been made perfectly clear to me, drilled into my head until it became like a mantra:

First - I was, under no circumstances to break curfew and stay beyond the walls after dark, unless I had a death wish.

Second - Vampires were monsters. Cold and cruel and heartless they would kill me without a second thought, especially if they found out who I was… who my father was.

And third - Those very monsters murdered my mother.

Yes, these three things I've always been certain of… accepted without ever questioning them - until now.

My name is Aryn Daniels and today my life changed forever.

One rule break. One night. One guy… that was all it took.

Now tell me, what do you do if you find out everything you were taught to believe was wrong? Everything you had been told was a lie?

What do you do when you have to choose between your family --your species-- and the right thing?

What do you do when the person you love is the very thing you have been taught to fear, taught to hate… taught to kill?

What do you do…