A breeze sweeps through the courtyard sending my body into shivers. The smell of soothing lavender fades to the smell of iron as blood blanketed the ground. Helplessly, I watched as my father lay dying by my hand, a hand manipulated by the man whose blade now presses against my back, right where my heart lays beating with horror.

"Well, how does it feel girl?" Lord Andrath sneers, pressing the blade harder against my skin and I flinch as I feel blood trickle down my back.

I open my mouth to respond. Nothing. I felt as if my mind had just stopped. My eyes were glued to the pool of blood that was growing larger by the second, staining the white and black skirt I had worn for the day. The dark shade of blood stood out against the white cement bricks that paved the yard wide path which led to a simple water fountains where birds often flocked to drink.

Again, I struggled to form words but a sudden rush of hatred consumed me, choking off my voice. The feeling of the darkness stirring inside pulsed in sync with my heartbeat, breaking through the chains I and others had built around by the lies I had believed. I twisted around to face my manipulator.

Completely ignorant of the blade which had just carved a thin slash across my side, I hissed, "You knew this entire time!"

Andrath grins at the fury that colored my face and voice. He takes a step forward to lean into my ear. "Naturally, the child is always stronger than their parents. Your usefulness has ended, girl."

I flinch, but a sudden hoarse whisper causes me to turn to face my father, Lord Haedus.

"Keaira. Let me look at you one more time." The barely audible plea broke my heart.

It finally sunk in as I leaned over him to grasp his last words. He was dying. I could never make it up to him. There was no justification for what I had done and tears spilled from eyes when he reached up to stroke my cheek.

"You have your mother's eyes. Such a beautiful shade of violet, but yours held a light and a power your mother could only dream of. My little dark one." He warmly smiled.

Grasping tightly to his hands, I sob, "I'm so sorry." It was the only words I could bring out as I, at last, broke down completely.

Even through my heart wrenching cries I could feel his breathing become shallow and finally stop. I look up when I hear the sound of metal hitting concrete. Resting beside him was a beautiful locket. It was made into a brilliant black rose with an intricate amethyst raven in the center. My true name, Keaira, was engraved in a silver liquid behind unbreakable glass. It looked like mercury as I bent forward to look closer. Numbly, I picked it up and placed it around my head. A soft gold glow lit the air around me before dissipating. Father had bound the necklace to my blood was my only realization.

Before I could stand up, a searing pain stabbed through my chest. I gasp in pain and the view of the angel statue just a few in front of my father's corpse was the last thing I saw as my vision faded to black. Death at the hands of the manipulator who no one would dare fight against.