"I can't believe you're doing this to me." I said simply. I wasn't yelling, but my voice echoed off the stark white tile walls.
"I've told you, Rose. I just don't have the money anymore. I'm sorry." He snapped.
"You told my father that you'd never-." He cut me off.
"I know what I told him, alright. I'm sorry." When Lenny promised to take care of me, he told my father he'd never let the vampire's get a hold of me. That was the sole reason for Lenny taking me in. When my father died, I would have been homeless and had no choice but to turn to them. Now, Lenny was handing me over on a silver platter. I was still having trouble coming to terms with it. It took everything I had not to take off running and never look back. They'd catch me before I stepped off the premises.
"I'll never forgive you for this."
"You don't have too. You just have to deal with it." He said. I was on my feet then.
"My father was an idiot to trust you. I was an idiot to trust you." I growled at him. Before he could snap back at me, the French doors on the far side of the room opened, and in strolled the King of Alabama, Arik. Lenny was on his feet, bowing slightly. I admit, I was kind of in awe. For someone to be over a thousand years old, he didn't look a day over twenty five.
"Your majesty." Lenny said. The king nodded once at him, before his eyes fell on me.
"This must be her." He said.
"Yes sir, this is her." I narrowed my eyes in Lenny's direction before turning back to the king.
"And what's your name, darling?" Arik asked, walking to stand in front of me.
"Her name is-." Lenny started. Arik cut him off.
"I was speaking to her, not to you. Unless she is incapable of speaking for herself, I'd like to hear from her." I chuckled slightly. I might actually like this guy after all.
"I'm Rosalind." I told him, bowing slightly since I'd neglected to do so when he walked in the door. I'll admit, I've been around vampires all my life since they pretty much ruled our area, but I'd never been this close to a vampire of his age and power. I was slightly intimidated and kind of scared although I'd never admit that out loud. He stared into my eyes for a second before smiling. He did a walk around me, assessing every part of me, trying to figure out if he wanted me as a consort for one of his vampire minions or for himself. I felt his eyes traveling up and down my back. When he was finally standing in front of me, I couldn't help the snark that left my lips.
"Everything up to par sheriff?" I asked, sarcastically. The look that crossed Arik's face was nothing short of amused.
"Rose!" Lenny scolded. I smirked.
"No, don't reprimand her. She has a sense of humor. That's nice to see." He told Lenny. Lenny automatically fell back into silence. "You're beautiful."
"Thank you, your majesty." I said. He took a few steps forward, offering me his hand.
"May I?" He asked. I wasn't sure what he was asking, so I hesitated. He chuckled. "I'm not going to bite you, Rosalind." I didn't move.
"Rose, do what he says." Lenny snapped at me. Arik's look silenced him.
"I need you to trust me." Arik said. I slowly laid my hand in his own. He brought my hand up close to his mouth and flipped it over, placing his nose just above my wrist. He breathed in deep, and closed his eyes. I was waiting on him to sink his fangs into me, but it never happened. He released me, and smiled. "Thank you." I just nodded. It was kind of a creepy gesture, but I guess for a vampire it was a normal thing. "How old are you?"
"I'm eighteen." I told him. He nodded. He turned to one of the Matron's standing at the door.
"Fetch Gabriel, please. We'll see what he thinks." Arik told him. The Matron disappeared. "Gabriel is-." I cut him off.
"He's the Prince. I know, I've heard of him." I said. I'd heard about him alright. Prince Gabriel, son of the King, slept around and drank from helpless women. That would be my luck of course.
"I think you'll like him. He was about your age when he was turned. He had an accident with his last consort." He said. I automatically tensed up. Great, I'd become the consort to the vampire with the least self control. "Don't worry, it really was an accident. He didn't mean to kill her." He said it as if I was supposed to believe him. I didn't. It wasn't but a few moments later that the French doors Arik entered through opened, and in walked who I presumed to be Gabriel. He had bright electric blue eyes that contrasted with the dark hair that hung across his forehead. His eyes met mine for a second, before they fell on Arik.
"You sent for me?" He asked. His voice was like leather, smooth but you could hear the ruggedness and strength in it. You could tell he spoke with authority.
"Gabriel, this is Rosalind. What do you think of her?" He asked. My body tensed when his eyes fell on me again. I was hoping he'd say he hated me, but instead, he avoided the question entirely.
"You're trying to replace Rebekah already?" Gabriel asked, turning to Arik.
"That was a month ago, and it was an accident. It's time to pick back up and move on with your life." He told him. I'd noticed that Lenny hadn't spoken again. It was so out of characters for Lenny. Gabriel turned his gaze back on me. He met my eyes for a second, before smirking and walking a circle around me like his father had. I don't know why, but my body reacted completely differently this time around. As Gabriel walked around me, my heart sped up. I wasn't scared, or afraid, but I'd become slightly more intimidated.
"Do you hear her heart beating? She's terrified." Gabriel said when he was finally standing back in front of me. He was looking at Arik though, which bothered me, so once again, I couldn't stop the retort that left my lips.
"You don't have to talk about me like I'm not standing right here." I snapped. Gabriel turned to face me. Lenny was glaring at me. "And no, I'm not afraid of you. Intimidated, yes but I'm not afraid." I watched as the corners of Gabriel's lips twitched.
"You're a feisty little thing, aren't you?" He asked me. I shrugged.
"Most call it a bad attitude." I said, honestly. Lenny nodded.
"That's what I call it." Lenny said. Arik shot him another look, but Gabriel didn't spare him a second glance.
"You've intrigued me." Gabriel admitted.
"Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing." I said, quirking an eyebrow at him. I was hoping being rude would make him hate me, but it was having the opposite effect. If anything, it was biting me in the ass, big time.
"Rose, you're being rude." Lenny growled at me. Gabriel still didn't look away.
"Silence, human." Gabriel snapped. Lenny stepped back, and my body tensed at the sound of authority in his voice. I think what also scared me was the fact that his eyes had still been on me when he'd snapped at Lenny, and I'd watched them flicker from blue to black in the fraction of a second. "How much is he asking?" Gabriel asked Arik, not addressing Lenny directly. I'll admit, I was quite amused by this.
"How much for the lovely Rosalind?" Arik asked.
"Lenny, last chance… back out now." I told him. Lenny's eyes fell on me. "Remember what you promised my father." I didn't want to become some vampire's play thing, especially not the Prince of Alabama. This couldn't be happening. I was dreaming. I kept trying to pinch myself, but I wasn't waking up. It was hitting me hard now that this was and will forever be my reality. I'll be a vampire's play thing, to command, and drink from. To be his bitch, basically. Yeah, that wasn't something I was very fond of.
"I'll take three thousand."
"Three thousand? Are you kidding me? That's it?" I demanded. "Not only are you a sick fascist bastard, you're cheap to. I'm worth so much more than that. My father would kill you. He's probably turning over in his grave right now." I was livid beyond words. I think everyone in the room sensed that. Even the Matrons at the door stepped forward. Lenny's eyes fell on me then. I hated this man. I swear, I hated him more than I'd ever hated anyone in my life.
"You know what… she's actually a real pain in the ass. I'll take twenty five hundred." Lenny told them. That was all it took. I lunged for him. Right before I would have connected my fist with his face, Gabriel stepped in, pushing me back, and away from Lenny. Damn him.
"I hope you rot in hell. I'll kill you. I swear it." I said, fighting against Gabriel. Arik seemed slightly amused, but at the same time, I could see the sympathy in his eyes. I didn't want his sympathy. All I wanted was to go home, and get the hell out of here. I take that back. What I wanted more than anything was to punch Lenny right in the mouth. That was what I really wanted.
"We'll give you thirty five hundred." Gabriel called over his shoulder, still standing in front of me to keep me from going after Lenny. That's when my head snapped up to look at him. Arik nodded in agreement.
"This sounds reasonable. Rosalind will be a fine addition here. We thank you so much for her. The money will be withdrawn and delivered to your house by one of our matrons." Arik told him. Lenny nodded once.
"Her things are in my car." Lenny said. Arik snapped his fingers, and the Matrons at the door disappeared. "I thank you so much your majesty." He bowed. He then turned to me.
"Rose." He said.
"Don't even fucking look at me. Just go." I snarled. He turned and walked out, closing the doors behind him. I knew it would probably be the last time I ever saw him, but I could honestly say that I didn't care. I was still trying to calm myself down.
"Are you alright? I'm going to step away, but I want to make sure you're not going to run after him." Gabriel said. I shot him a sharp look. His lips turned up at the corners, and he stepped away from me. I ran a hand through my hair.
"Rosalind, I'm truly sorry for that." Arik said. I turned and looked at him.
"It isn't your fault that he's the scum of the human race. You didn't make him that way." I told him. He nodded.
"This is very true. Regardless, we welcome you into our home with open arms, Rosalind." I just smiled to the best of my ability, which caused Gabriel to chuckle. I turned to him, but the moment I did, a Matron came through the door.
"Where would you like us to put her things, your majesty?" He asked. He was tall, and bulky, but had a really skinny face. He looked really disproportional. For a vampire, that was extremely strange to see. Arik turned to Gabriel, who then turned to the Matron.
"Put them in my room, Carter." He said. I was confused at this point as to what was happening with my stuff.
"What are they doing with my things?" I asked.
"They're being put in my suite. It's fine." Gabriel assured me. I just nodded, not knowing what else to say at this point. I'd never been 'sold' before. I never thought I would be, but it was obvious now that I'd been extremely wrong. I'd misjudged Lenny. My father had as well.
"Well, I have things to attend too, so I'll let you two get better acquainted." Arik said. He offered me his hand, which I hesitatantly took. He brought my hand up to his mouth and kissed it. He smiled at his son, before turning and walking out. The Matrons opened the doors and closed them behind him. Gabriel looked up at them.
"You're excused." Gabriel told the Matrons. They nodded once, and bowed before walking out and closing the doors behind them. Gabriel then turned to me.
"It must be nice, being able to snap your fingers and get what you want." I said. I hadn't even realized I'd said it out loud until I saw Gabriel's face grow somber. I automatically felt bad, but at the same time, I hadn't said anything that wasn't true.
"Are you always so outspoken?"
"Yes." I answered simply.
"We're going to have to work on that." He said. I snorted, which caused his face to twitch. "Bear in mind, dear Rosalind that I didn't ask for this life. I was created the son of a king. I didn't ask to be the prince." He said. He was right, but at the same time… I could tell he didn't exactly use his authority for good either.
"Rose…" I said.
"I beg your pardon?"
"My name is Rosalind, but I prefer Rose." I told him. He nodded once.
"I think I can manage that." He said. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair. I walked over and sat down on the couch I'd been sitting on before the king had come in. My mind was in a hundred different places. My father, Lenny, this place, these people… no, vampires I'd have to deal with from now on. It was a lot to take in, or attempt to try and sort through. "I know that your mind is probably in a hundred different places right now." He told me, as if reading my mind. "But this isn't going to be as bad as you think."
"For you." I snapped.
"No offense, Ms. Rosalind, but I am a Prince, and I would appreciate it if you treated me as such." He said, authority in his voice. I automatically sat up, regretting that I'd spoken. "Apologize."
"Are you kid-?" He cut me off with a look that said he wasn't. "I'm sorry." When it left my lips, it sounded more like a question.
"See, that wasn't so bad, now was it?" I had a feeling if I valued my life at all, I wouldn't answer that question. I was having a hard time keeping any composure at the moment. It seemed like everything I'd once known had been ripped right out from under me, and I'd been thrown into a world I knew almost nothing about.
"How about I show you where you'll be living from now on?" He asked, walking over to me and offering me his hand. I wasn't about to take it. I stood up on my own, and nodded.
"I'd like that." I said, walking past him. I heard the growl in the back of his throat, but he didn't say anything. He followed to the French doors, moving at vampire speed to beat me there. It caught me off guard, but I didn't let it show. He opened the door for me, as we walked out. I was in awe as I stepped out and into the hallway. The place was huge, and absolutely beautiful. I think he could tell I was freaking out.
"This place is beautiful."
"Ehh, its home. You'll think of it the same way too someday." He told me. I didn't respond, because I knew the kind of reaction I'd get. Instead, I kept my mouth shut. I followed him down the long hallway, looking at all of the paintings and sculptures' lining the walls. We walked up a flight of stairs and to a door, which Gabriel opened for me. I stepped inside to find a humungous room. Inside was a black leather sectional couch, which contrasted with the white perfectly. There was a huge plasma screen TV, a bookshelf full of books, a large dining room table and all kinds of other furniture. The place was beautiful, no doubt.
"This is your suite?" I asked.
"Our suite." He informed me. My body tensed.
"I wasn't aware the consorts stayed with their vampires." I said. He chuckled.
"This place is big, yes, but we don't have enough rooms to house vampires and consorts. We'd need a condominium for that." He said. I smiled at his attempt at a joke. He escorted me to a door on the other side of the room and opened it, flipping the light switch. Inside, all of my boxes and duffle bags were stacked and lined neatly against the wall. "This is our room."
"Our room?" I asked, my mouth probably gaping open.
"Yes." He said, simply.
"There is only one bed."
"I'm well aware of how many beds there are. I'm old, not stupid." He said, cutely. I narrowed my eyes.
"Then where am I sleeping?" I asked.
"In here… with me." He said. I laughed out loud.
"Oh, you vampires really do have a sense of humor. No, I'm being serious. Where am I sleeping?"
"Do I look like I'm kidding with you, Rosalind?" He asked. There it was, my full first name again. I could tell he was getting agitated with me.
"I'm not-." I started. "I can't just-." I stopped again. "I don't even-." I finally gave up trying to speak.
"Is this going to be a problem?" I just nodded. "And why is that?" He asked, quirking an eyebrow at me. It could have something to do with the fact that he had razor sharp teeth that could rip my throat out in my sleep, or the fact that I didn't know him, or maybe, just maybe that he could force me into something against my will.
"I don't… I don't sleep with people… vampires… anyone."
"You'll get used to it." He informed me, dismissing the issue.
"No… I won't." I snapped, loudly. The next thing I knew my back was against the wall, and I was staring into his electric blue eyes, darkening slightly by the second.
"Listen to me, Rosalind… You'll do exactly what I tell you to do. I don't mind the playful attitude, but when you're undermining my authority that is a completely different thing, and I will not have that. You will be punished, do you understand?" He asked. I nodded. "I asked you a question."
"Yes, your highness." I said, my voice shaking. He smiled slightly, his mood changing that quickly. He stepped away, pulling me with him, away from the wall.
"Good girl." He said, speaking to me as if I were a dog. I wanted to growl at him. "Now, that wardrobe over there is for you to hang your clothes and put your things in when you get around to unpacking. The nightstand on the left side of the bed is yours, and of course the bathroom space we share, so… whatever you need to put in there, just find an empty space." He told me. I just nodded, knowing I shouldn't speak anymore. "Meals are delivered to the room for us, which is something that happens three times a day. If you aren't in when a meal is delivered, you can go down to the kitchen to eat." I just continued to nod. He met my eyes for a split second, and frowned. "You're afraid."
"I've already told you, I'm not afraid of you." I said, weakly.
"Then why haven't you spoken, when five minutes ago, I couldn't get you to shut up?" He asked.
"I'm just… It's just going to be hard adjusting to all of this." I admitted. It was the truth, but not the truth as to why I hadn't spoken. He shook his head.
"Look, I didn't mean to scare you, I just-." I cut him off when I looked away from him.
"You didn't scare me." I said, trying to keep my tone reasonable so he didn't think I was undermining his authority again. He just nodded once.
"Look, I'm going to go downstairs and talk to my father. Why don't you start unpacking?" He said.
"Going to go tell him how much you hate me already?" I muttered under my breath. This got a chuckle out of Gabriel. I looked up at the sound. It was a warm, something you wouldn't expect from a vampire.
"I don't hate you, Rose. Atleast… not yet." He said. He walked over, and placed a finger under my chin, forcing me to meet his eyes. "Don't give me reasons to hate you, silly human." When he pulled away, he sighed. "I'll be back soon. I'll escort you to dinner when I return. Is that alright with you, Rose?" I looked down at my feet and back up at him. As long as I'm not dinner ran through my mind.
"I guess so." I told him.
"You know… things will get easier. It's your first day here. Don't be so down, Rosalind." He told me.
"I'll work on it while you're gone." I muttered sarcastically. I automatically panicked, my head snapping up to make sure I hadn't offended him. I stopped breathing for a second before he smirked at me.
"Atta girl." He said. I rolled my eyes. "I'll be back soon." I just nodded as he turned and walked out of the bedroom. When the second door slammed shut, my knees buckled and I crumbled to the floor. I was trying to breathe, and not sob, because I knew with all the vampires in this building someone was bound to hear me. I quickly composed myself the best I could and started unpacking like he'd said. I didn't want a repeat of what happened earlier when he returned. I started hanging my clothes, and placing other personal belongings in the space I was allotted. I eventually gave up unpacking and started exploring the room. It was so neatly kept, but I was sure that wasn't because Gabriel was a clean freak. I didn't go through any of his stuff, knowing that with my luck, he'd walk in and catch me, so instead I went to the door in the bedroom, and opened it stepping out onto what was a balcony. The cool night air felt nice on my face. The balcony overlooked the forest and behind that was what looked to be a small lake. I closed the door behind me, and sat down on the balcony floor. I laid my back against the wall, and closed my eyes, taking deep deliberate breaths. I was strong. I could get through this. I had to get through this.