By Night Cross

The vampire had temporarily been tamed.

But it wasn't going to be long before it started its rampage again. I was no different from a drug addict now, occupied with trying to deal with my inner demon.

The struggle was resisting the instinct. I had been taking twice the amount of BT in an attempt to calm down the never-ending appetite. But the thirst wouldn't suffice. Just remembering the succulent thick liquid flowing down my throat…, the pure exquisite taste of blood overwhelming my taste buds…, the savoury sweetness that continued to linger at the tip of my tongue… The desire to sink my teeth into her soft human flesh was continuously brought back by these memories. And the momentary victories of bringing down the craving were both a relief and a reward. The short period of time was a break to regain some sanity and prepare myself for the next battle.

To my own surprise, I was actually pretty optimistic. I didn't know if I was so used to the abstinence of real blood and the benefits that came along with it, or I had finally turned insane. The lapses of craving weren't getting shorter, but I wasn't worried or wary, unlike in the past, that I might lose myself in this darkness. I was expecting that it wouldn't be long before I could release myself from this isolation period and go back to her side.

I wondered what Chris would say if I told her that her optimism was finally catching up to me.

She would probably be overly delighted and proud of what she had done.

The hasty pair of footsteps from outside got nearer. When it finally stopped, there were three light knocks on the door. I unlocked the door. Reford stepped in and closed the door behind him. Even though it was mild, I could capture the tantalising sweet fragrance that was better than that of a human on him. I had become extremely sensitive to the scent since I broke the strict diet imposed here two days ago.

He had definitely been in contact with one of them.

The poisonous craving was reaching into my very bones again, urging me to give in. I regulated my breathing to control myself so that I wouldn't overreact.

"Night, how are you feeling?" he asked worriedly.

"Who were you with just now?" I managed to say in a strained voice. I tried to behave normally. I could feel the next battle approaching, ready to destroy me.

"Lord Chronos. And Adam Bannet too. They were discussing about Vincent. The Council has found out about him and he has been handed over to them."

Those useless guys actually found out? Apparently, they were only resourceful when blue bloods were involved. But I guessed Vincent wouldn't be able to take the easy way out anymore. No one would be able to save him the moment the Council had their hands on him.

"Lord Chronos told me to inform you about this," he continued, "He says that you should know. He also wants me to tell you that you can step out from your quarantine whenever you feel that you are ready."

I sighed. Aleister shouldn't trust me so readily; he should be more cautious of me. One little careless mistake and I could jeopardise his entire school and ideals. Just basing it on my own judgement was naive of him.

"Actually…, Adam Bannet also asked about you." There was a pause of silence. "He wanted to know when you will be back."

That caught my attention. I could only think of two reasons why Adam would even bother to mention me. He either wanted to kill me, or it had something to do with Chris. It was frustrating that the odds regarding the latter were higher.

"Why?" I said abruptly.

"He didn't say."

Out of nowhere, there was a loud crash coming from the direction of Aleister's office. It sounded like something was being smashed against a hard surface. Within the gap of a fraction of a second, a second crashing sound followed.

It was unusual for anything that sounded as violent as that to happen here. Aleister had established too much peace in this place for anything disturbing to even exist…

I was unnerved by the sudden jolt of uneasiness that appeared out of nowhere and planted itself inside me. It felt like I had lost something important forever and would never get it back…

My first thought was to go and see what the commotion was. But I was hesitating. Was it wise to do so now? Adam would probably still be there too. Would I be able to withstand someone as great a temptation as him? Or would he kill me the moment I seemed like I might give in to vampire instincts? Regardless of who the aggressive one might be in the end, I didn't have the capacity to risk any clashes with him. Staying clear of his path was the most logical move. I didn't want to upset Chris in anymore ways. Besides, Aleister could probably settle it without the need for me to interfere…

"Night," Reford distracted me, not understanding my lack of action, "It's coming from the Headmaster's office. Should I go find out for you?"

Against my own better judgement, it would probably be better to personally check it out if I wanted any chance of easing this uneasy feeling.

To hell with Adam.

I got up and headed straight to the office, with Reford following closely behind me. Halfway there, Derek and Queenie caught up with us, also curious about the source of the impactful sound.

"Night, what do you think that was?" Derek asked.

His question immediately brought back the stagnant fear that I was trying to ignore. The overpowering yet unusual feeling of loss was overriding my ability to think properly. I curbed the impulse to break away from my calm mask.

"Probably an accident," I remarked.

Just then, a second wave of the commotion was brought to our ears, immediately shattering what I had foolishly hoped it was. This time round, the clarity of the gunshot could be heard amongst the ruckus.

Seems like things were worst than I thought.

I was expecting some destruction and perhaps even a fight going on. But the fight had already reached its intermission by the time we arrived. The three people remained frozen in their hostile positions amidst the debris, waiting for the other to make a move first.

I immediately found the explanation to the uncomfortable feeling that haunted me. I had seen this scenario one too many times that my mind would immediately warn me of what was to come even though it took me only later to admit that I was purposely avoiding it.

He was just a few metres away, staring at me exactly like those days when I was still his slave at his beck and call. Aleister was at the other end of the room, offensively guarding the destroyed corner where Adam was staggering to get back on his feet while swearing out his hatred for vampires. The gush of blood that was overflowing from his injured arm almost swept me off my feet. The only thing tying me to the ground now was the usual immense hatred that had awoken at the sight of him. All the unforgiveable things that he had done were fuelling my hatred even further. I was practically a living demon in front of him.

Apparently, the thirst wasn't the worst enemy I had to overcome.

Like a reflex, I lifted up the sharp wooden pieces on the floor and threw it at him. Naturally, he was able to dodge it effortlessly without losing his offensive posture to strike anytime. He treated it like I was throwing some childish tantrum.

"Is this what they teach here?" he said, unimpressed, "Throwing tables as a way of greeting?"

"What the hell are you doing here?" I glowered.

"He's got a death wish," Adam snapped, giving out short gasps of pain. He staggered a step forward, and I was forced to back off to maintain the pathetic distance between us.

This was really putting my limits to the test.

"I shook off those pathetic hunters behind me and purposely came to get you, Night," he said. His intimidating glare had become useless when all that filled my mind was how I should make him pay.

"Since I had been ousted out by those good-for-nothings, you'll have to fill in for me before they begin the pathetic debate of replacing me with one of their own." He scorned. "If not for me, some of them wouldn't even be enjoying the high life today. It's about time they know what they are up against. They will face the consequences for betraying me."

He smirked, staring at me with those cold eyes.

"But don't worry, I won't take away your little bit of fun here. You can still stay here if it pleases you. I'll be helping you to get rid of anything harmful or distracting for your future."

My heart sank by the way his words played inside my mind like an endless echo. The fear grew, overpowering the hatred for that split second…

I raised the couch that was behind him and threw it at him. It was meant to be a distraction. As expected, he flawlessly dodged it again. But at that fraction of a second when his attention was elsewhere, I directed the sharp shards of broken window glass on the floor right into his left chest. His composure was shaken and he was stunned and paralysed for a short while. He didn't hide his surprise that I would actually attack him so directly.

But the pompous expression of his did not disappear.

"Where is she?" I glowered.

He picked off the shards with little effort and tauntingly licked off the blood that stained it. "You've changed. You would never have attacked me like that in the past. This was not how I taught you. You use to plan every step so perfectly before executing it."

"Killing you is instinctive." I had let this dragged on too long between us that Chris was hurt time and again. This had to end. "Where is she?!" I snarled.

"She's gone. No more distractions."

His words raged inside me. For that second, I had lost all sense of rationality. I was about to deal a heavier blow to force more out of him. But the golden bullet pierced through his right sleeve without warning. If he wasn't quick enough to avoid a direct hit, he would have lost his entire arm.

"What have you done to her?!!" Adam exclaimed furiously.

"I promised her that she will die eventually. It was a deal I made with her. I'm just carrying out my promise," he smirked.

He covered his bullet wound, still acting all composed. If I hadn't experienced it for myself, I would have really thought that his calm appearance was true. But even from such a small scratch, the pain was poisonously spreading into the depth of the skin, destroying every single cell that was in its way. The further the virus attacked, the more the intensity of the pain.

"Queens," I muttered urgently. She was the only one amongst us who possessed the ability to track someone down regardless of where the person might be. She didn't have to depend on scent. She explained before that it was a psychic thing. Since he wasn't going to say, she was my next best option. Despite showing her reluctance, she left immediately with Derek and Reford.

Please…don't let me be too late this time.

The tension had heightened and we (especially Adam) were prepared to face our common enemy. It was a consolation that he was now a wanted vampire. It would be easier to clean up the mess later.

"You are naive if you think that you alone can kill me with that thing of yours," he said coldly, pointing at the handgun that was made to take aim at him.

"I'll make sure that you eat those words!" Adam snarled.

Adam fired another two more shots, but he was too fast for him. I wanted to give my assistance, but I was suddenly paralysed by the torturous yet alluring scent that was loosening the chains I had placed on myself. All my strength now was used to hold back my desire. It was tedious to resist the temptation, but I realised that it wasn't that impossible. Perhaps the quarantine wasn't necessary after all.

When I was able to grasp a bit of sanity and get a hold of myself, I realised that Aleister had somehow managed to grab him from behind and immobilised him for a sheer second. As he fought confidently to regain the upper hand and swung Aleister away, Adam fired a shot aimed directly at his chest. The area that was previously stained by my doing was once again soaked in fresh redness. He still wasn't dead yet, but his resistance had immediately diminished greatly due to the pain that was eating into his nerves. I took this opportunity to freeze his movements totally so that he wouldn't even be able to move an inch. At this state, he wouldn't have the extra strength to take in my telekinesis and use it back on me.

For that moment, Adam was able to get a perfect shot at him. He pulled the trigger so willingly, and the bullet went straight right into his head. A small trickle of blood poured out from the small but fatal wound. It went right between those cold but dead eyes that were glaring back at us.

I released him, and he felt to the ground lifeless, like many of his victims before him.

A huge weight was thrown off me. For the first time ever, I felt so light.

It's over.

Relief was contagious. I could tell that the burden was off both their shoulders as well. Adam collapsed onto the ground, breathing as hard as he could. Aleister turned to me, resting his hand on my shoulder. "Night, you better go and see if Christabel is all right."

I wasn't expecting it, but Aleister brought back the unnerving feeling of loss again. I thought that it was because of him initially that made me feel this way. But now that he was dead, I realised that my conscience was the one warning me, like an omen.

I was about to go off, but Derek and Queenie came back just in time. They were taken aback by the end result of our fight, but they had expected it all along.

"Where is she?" I immediately shot.

"She's not in school. We've searched the entire school ground but she's nowhere to be seen. I can't find her too," she grumbled. I froze. Queenie's ability had never failed before. "She's neither here nor there after that anti-venom incident. Not human, but not vampire either. I can't track…unbalanced freaks like that, at least not yet. My ability's not developed enough."

"But we did search the city," Derek added, not having his usual uncaring attitude, "And we found something outside the city gates. Deleon's dead. He's been killed by a hunter. That vampire hunter who shot you is dead too. They are buried deep in the dense forest."

Deleon? Vincent? But more importantly, where's Chris?

"How about Chris?!" Adam interrupted while Aleister tried to do some simple first-aid on him before he tempted us all to finish him off.

"Nothing. Can't even find her scent when the rain has washed off everything. It's almost like she just…vanished. I got Reford to continue searching while we came back to tell you. What do you intend to do now, Night?"

"Get a few more guys and widen the parameter of your search. I'll join you guys."

"And Deleon?"

"I'll call the Council and ask them to handle that," Aleister sighed, "They aren't going to be happy that two blue bloods had died in one day. They are going to want an account for Deleon's death."

While Derek went to get a few more vampires to help out, I went out alone first to start the search. I didn't believe that Chris would just vanish. Something must have happened. Tracking by scent was impossible in this heavy rain and I could only try to find any traces that might lead me to her. But the uneasy feeling was building up inside me as the seconds ticked by without her presence.

By the time half the day was gone, there was still nothing.

There was no explanation as to what happened between Deleon and Vincent either. Any possible evidence had been washed away by the rain. The primary assumption was that they had somehow managed to bring each other down.

Many things didn't make sense, but I didn't care. The only thing that bothered me was her disappearance. I had been given grace after grace by being able to get her back whenever it seemed like I had lost her.

But this time, it was different.

She's gone.

Just like he said.

-End of Clandestine Serenade-

Author's final note: Finally! I just wanna say the main focus of this story is the relationship between Chris and Night. So I didn't put as much attention to how the antagonists die. I apologise for my lack of creativity in making vampires die.
Anyway, got to make the proper acknowledgements. Many thanks to all the media that had helped in my development of ideas. Trying to expose myself to more kinds of stories to write better ones. Songs are also a big part of the way I've been influenced to think. Also many million thanks to everyone who has read and/or given me a review to help me improve myself. I do take every review seriously and I'm trying to improve my writing skills. Thank you for your support!
If you would like another piece of this story, you can go on to the sequel/third instalment - Kingdom. Currently, Kingdom is planned to be the last of the story. I do not have any intentions to continue it anymore. But then, who knows, I might just change my mind. Also, there's Night's POV of VS - Cross My Heart which I'm currently working on.
Keep reading! Cheers :)