Hotel De La Mort

"How do you get in here? All the doors are boarded up!" Xander asked Umbrial, exasperated.

"Let's go around back, there's probably a basement or something." She replied

"Okay." And the two friends went around to the back of the hotel De La Mort.

"Did you know this Hotel is called the Hotel of Death? 'De La Mort' is French for 'Of Death'" Umbrial informed Xander. She was a wealth of information, always spitting of random facts.

"Hm. How cheery." He replied, his cute southern accent making Umbrial smile, even though she tried to keep herself from doing it.

"I found a door! Help me down." Umbrial shouted happily. Xavier walked over and looked down into the door, if you could call it that. It was a hatch set into the ground with a straight drop of at least five feet. The hole was pitch black; Xander couldn't tell what might possibly be down there.

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" he asked her

"Of course I'm sure!" she replied, confidently. "Don't be a scaredy cat!" Xander wasn't scared, just nervous. Nervous that the stories might be true; that nobody who went into the hotel ever came out. He couldn't tell Umbrial this, though, she would just go on without him, and that would be worse. So he helped her down into the basement.

The dirt floor was soft, but it still hurt when Umbrial landed. Xander jumped down right next to her, almost on top of her. Once he was down, they both began to look around. It was really dark, darker than the night sky could ever be. The entire place had a creepy vibe, Umbrial thought to herself, no place should ever be this dark, no natural place, that is.

Umbrials' thought were interrupted when Xavier asked, "Got a light?"

"Uhh…" Umbrial checked her pockets and found nothing. "Nope. You?"

"Nope. Guess we'll just have to wander around without one." Xander said, before he wandered away to the left, searching for a wall to hang onto. Umbrial followed his lead, but went to the right instead. It took a few minutes of walking alongside the walls, looking around and seeing nothing, but eventually they saw a lit doorway.

Umbrial and Xander bumped into each other in the bright doorway. They both shouted in surprise, this place had made them forget about each other momentarily. When they regained their composure, they decided to go on up the stairs together, Xander in the lead. The light that shone through the doorway was unnaturally bright. It was as if the sun was shining directly into the door, but it couldn't have been, it was twilight and the sun was going down, plus all the windows were boarded up.

Once they got upstairs, they found the source of the mysterious glow. It was coming from dozens of candelabras, all filled and lit, lined up like a path around the doorway going straight to the center of the room. "What on Earth?" Xander exclaimed in surprise at the same time as Umbrial cried "What in the world?"

They both looked around in amazement, seeing the grand hotel this dump used to be. Where the grand staircase should have been was a half staircase, the bottom half was broken off, the top half floating about 6 feet off the ground. It seemed that all the staircases were missing a piece. Whether they started in midair, were missing the midsection or were completely topless, Umbrial could see no staircase that was undamaged except the one they had come up. All the windows and doors were boarded up with thick wood. Even through this horrible mutilation, the duo could see that once beautiful and well used, the hotel was long forgotten.

"It's like somebody expected us!" Xander said thoughtfully, once he was done looking around.

"That's because we were." Said an unseen voice from atop the dismantled grand staircase.

"Who's there?" Umbrial asked the mysterious voice from above.

"I am Raphael, leader here…" the voice, Raphael, replied, his voice seeming calm and controlled.

"Leader of what?" Xander interrupted.

"Of the Nights Children, of course!" Raphael said, as if Xander should have known this already. But, seeing the confused look on Umbrial and Xanders faces, he clarified "Vampires."

"But there's no such thing as vampires," Umbrial said logically, "They're just something Hollywood made up for movies."

"And all those stories are true. You have trespassed here in our lair. You are ours now." Raphael said grimly and jumped off the balcony landing with the grace of a cat. Not even two feet in front of Umbrial, Raphael said "You shall be one of us in no time."

"No!" screamed Xander.

"You too, hot stuff." And then Raphael let an ear shattering sound out, so loud Umbrial felt as if she would die right there. Then the other vampires came out. Dozens of them, surrounding the intruders. All the vampires were amazingly beautiful, with no obvious flaws anywhere.

"What are we gonna do to 'em, Raph?" said a small looking vampire in the front of the crowd, "Are we gonna kill 'em?"

"Not this time. We are going to keep these two. We are going to turn them." Raphael said, as if this was completely normal. Then all the vampires lunged forward, attacking the two innocent teenagers in the center.

Umbrial couldn't remember anything up until right now. The last thing she remembered was talking to Raphael in the hotel, but she clearly wasn't in the hotel anymore. Shocked, Umbrial realized, she was underground, she was buried. Without noticing or even meaning to, the began to claw her way up to the surface. Xander was doing the exact same thing a few feet away in a grave of his own.

A few moments later, Umbrial was up out of her grave, as was Xander, and they were both searching every where for blood. Any kind of blood would do, Xander thought, any kind at all. I will die if I don't find some soon. Umbrial was thinking the same sort of thing.

While searching around for a source of blood, Umbrial bumped into Raphael. Happily, she noticed that he was holding two bags of blood. One for each of the newly born vampires. What is that blood from? She asked of herself, well, I guess it doesn't matter. With that, she lunged up from her hands and knees and grabbed one of the blood bags greedily from him. Within a few seconds, Xander was grappling for the other bag.

After a few moments, their ferocious hunger was quenched. Now calm, they sat side by side and realized what had just transpired. They had just gone crazy with hunger. Hunger for blood. Interrupting Umbrials reverie, Xander asked Raphael "Why bury us? It seems a little weird."

"that is how vampires are born. Their blood is drunk by a vampire, then they must be buried. If the infected are not buried, they do not rise again. If I had not buried you, you would have died instead of becoming vampires." Raphael kindly informed the fledglings.

"so now we're vampires." Umbrial mumbled to herself.

Raphael heard her, even though her voice was barely audible. "its okay. Now, you get to live forever. You will never die, unless somebody kills you or you go out in sunlight." he said, trying to comfort Umbrial.

"Sweet!" Xander exclaimed, joy on his face. The joy went away the instant he saw the look in Umbrials' eyes. She looked as if nothing worse could have happened to her. The words that Raphael meant to be comforting only upset her more. "Come on, Umbrial. Might as well be happy. There's no going back." he shot a look at Raphael to make sure he was right. Raphael nodded.

As soon as Xander said this, though, Umbrial burst into what should have been tears. There were no tears though. Vampires couldn't cry. Umbrial was rocking back and forth, sobbing and rubbing her tortuously dry eyes. This was yet another reminder of her inhumanity. If she was human, tears would have been flowing. That thought only made her sob harder.

Raphael looked at her, thinking over and over again, I am a monster. This is all my fault. But his inner torment at Umbrials invisible tears didn't show on his face. He looked as calm as ever. He wasn't alive, his heart didn't beat, but he still had one. He felt things just as much as a normal person, if not more. Everyone always thought that he didn't have a heart because he never showed feelings. That wasn't true. He was just really good at hiding his feelings. After all, he had been doing it for over 100 years. Raphael felt horrible inside. He knew what it was like, becoming a vampire. Digging out of that grave, yearning for blood, the shock of his beat-less heart. Nothing had shocked him more, than putting his fingers where his pulse used to be and feeling nothing. No pulse. No beat. Just emptiness.

Breaking free of his thoughts, he heard Xander ask him where the blood came from. Shuffling through all of his feelings about his own transition into vampirity, which was over 100 years ago, he said "A butcher shop downtown." before going back to his thoughts, he heard a quiet "Oh".

"Before you guys go anywhere, there are some things you need to know. Things about this world. Things you thought were stories." Raphael stopped for a breath, not out of necessity, vampires didn't need to breathe, but out of habit. "all those stories you've ever heard? Fairy tales, Hollywood movies, folk tales, everything is true. In this world, we have vampires, obviously. Werewolves, lycanthropes, whatever you want to call them reside in this world alongside us. Officially, they are called 'the Moons Children', as we are 'the Nights Children'. Faeries too, but not those ones that wear tights and prance about spraying faerie dust everywhere. The faeries are fierce, strong and a group you do not want to be on the bad side of. They could kill you faster than you can blink. Shadowhunters, or Nephilim are a breed of human beings with the angel Raziels blood in them. They are an ancient branch of humanity, trained in the art of demon slaying. Demons don't really live on Earth, but they do come here. They come in all shapes and sizes. They exist solely to destroy. They live in a different universe, traveling between worlds. Once in a world, they kill everything they can. When everything is dead and all the energy used up, they go to a different world." he stopped again. Raphael looked between Xander and Umbrial, laughing at the looks on their faces. He continued, "warlocks exist too. They are the children of demons and normal humans, which we call 'mundanes'. They can never have children of their own, but they live forever. Warlocks are probably the most powerful Downworlders" he saw that his listeners looked confused about that word "Which is a vampire, werewolf, faerie or warlock" he said with a smile.

When Raphael smiled, he looked creepy. Like 'walk to the other side of the street' creepy. "Warlocks can never have children. But all the other Downworlders can." Xanders face clearly showed relief when Raphael said this. "Now, follow me. The sun will rise soon" Raphael got up and started walking. He didn't even bother looking back or waiting. He just assumed that they would follow him. And they did. They would have followed anywhere he led them. What choice did they have?

After a few minutes, Xander was about to ask where they were being led, but he decided not to when he saw the Hotel De La Mort rise up in front of him. This time, the name "Hotel De La Mort" made much more sense. What better name for a vampires lair than "Hotel of Death"? It made perfect sense. Xander expected to go around the back and go in through the attic, but Raphael went to the side instead.

"How are we going to get in over here?" Umbrial asked, confused. It only to her a moment to realize Raphaels preferred method of entering the hotel. He crouched down and launched. He landed on the second story balcony, from there, Raphael leaned over the railing and beckoned to Umbrial and Xander. He wants us to jump up there? Thought Umbrial. To her, it seemed, that she could never make it. Raphael only could because he was an older vampire, her and Xander were just fledglings! Suddenly, Xander jumped. It looked as if he were flying, which as it turned out, he was. Reassured by this, Umbrial jumped up and flew. It was an amazing feeling. Incredible!, Her mind was screaming, this is INCREDIBLE!. She landed almost as soon as she took off. Raphael had made landing look graceful, but both Umbrial and Xander stumbled a bit on the touch down. She decided that the graceful landing had to because of years of practice.

Raphael laughed, watching them land. It was always funny, seeing new vampires land for the first time. Them stumbling was inevitable, every fledgling did it. Silently, he went into the hotel. The laughter disappeared from his face. He let no trace of happiness show, he must be all business now. Introducing the new members was always awkward. Everyone asked weird questions, and every single fledgling always asks, some silently, others aloud; which one of you bit me? Most of the time, there was a clear answer. Sometimes there wasn't. If Umbrial asked, he had an answer. If Xander asked, Raphael could lie and tell him he knew, or admit he was clueless. He just hoped somebody else knew. Whenever he didn't know, things always got more uncomfortable.

Umbrial and Xander followed Raphael, as he expected them to. Even if they hadn't, they would have to come in soon. The sun was on the brink of rising. He led them to the landing above the grand half staircase. You could see the entire lobby from atop the staircases. I could see a beautiful young lady walking through here ,Umbrial thought with a smile, wearing a flowing red dress, meeting her prince charming at the bottom. When she thought of Prince Charming, Umbrial looked at Xander. Apparently Raphael had been talking the whole time, but Umbrial had heard none of it. I hope he wasn't saying anything important, she thought ruefully.

Looking around, Xander saw that they were surrounded by vampires. All around, most of them hidden in the shadows. They were staring at Raphael and his guests as if they weren't sure what to do. It was over 5 years ago that they last got new vampires. This was a bit of a rare occasion for them. Raphael looked over to the left, then right, then directly behind him. "Come on out, my friends! These newcomers won't hurt you!" All the vampires obeyed immediately. They had a sincere sense of respect for their leader, Raphael. "This is Umbrial," he told the crowd, pointing to The girl standing next to him, "And this is Xander." his finger moved over to Xanders direction.

How did he know our names? Xander asked Umbrial with his eyes, because Raphael had never asked them. They had just assumed he didn't care about their names. Apparently he already knew them. As if sensing the confusion, Raphael turned around and said "When we surrounded you two, you" he pointed to Xander "Screamed 'Umbrial!' so I assumed that was her name. Was I wrong?" Umbrial shook her head, so Raphael continued, "And when Umbrial was talking to you, she said 'Oh, Xander' so I took that to be your name." Since Xander didn't object, Raph continued to introduce people.

He told Xander and Umbrial everybody's name. He pointed to a short girl in the front who looked about fifteen and said "This is Carla" and did the same thing for over 30 other people standing in the crowd. After a while, Umbrial tuned out. A few minutes later, all the introductions were done, and they all trekked off to various rooms to sleep for the day.

"Where do we go?" Xander asked Raphael after everybody else left. Raphael told them to follow him. He flew up a floor, jumping where stairs should have been, but these stair were broken too, with Umbrial and Xander following close behind. He went to a hallway that had three rooms on each side, two beds per.

"Do you want a room together or separate?" Raphael inquired. He had sensed a vibe from them that they might be more than friends, but he wasn't sure and didn't want to assume anything.

Umbrial and Xander exchanged a few looks, and Xander said "Together." and went into the room right in front of them, which Raphael pointed to. "Thanks, Raphael." Xander said gratefully, as him and Umbrial walked into the room.

"Call me Raph." Was all the response Xander got before Raphael walked down the hallway and entered a room across the hall. Xander shut the door, and then both of them went to bed, sleeping as vampires for the first time.