They had all arrived. Kristopher could hear them in the large conference, already yelling and talking with words that were sharp like knives. They were angry and Kristopher knew that the meeting that would follow wouldn't make them happier. They wanted reform but the king wanted peace. If only Kristopher was able to make the council happy.

Placing his hand on the large brass doorknob, Kristopher pushed open the door. The hall became hushed in a second but he knew that the council had been expecting his father. Flashing a pearly white smile and laying his gray irises on each of the members Kristopher walked through the door and allowed it to close softly behind him.

"Council members," Kristopher said in a boisterous voice that echoed off the marble walls, "welcome, welcome. I hope that we will be able to come to an understanding today."

"An understanding?" Aura scoffed, flicking her golden hair behind her shoulder and standing up. "We did not come here to compromise."

"You and your father are causing more harm than good to the spirits and the vampires alike." The spirit named Terra stood up, her dark brown eyes narrowed into slits.

"Perhaps it is time for the Kristenson family to step down from their power," piped in a scrawny vampire from the Veletrize family, a wealthy and powerful family that would be next in line for the thrown.

"Anyone would be better to rule than you and your father, Kristopher. Everyone knows that," Aura sneered, her lips curling.

"That's enough," Kristopher yelled, the force of his voice enough to make those that had stood to sit and to cause a ripple of fear to appear in the vampires eyes. The spirits just rolled their eyes and crossed their arms in defiance. "I am not my father, nor do I agree with his decrees. I am on your side, fighting for the same thing. I agree that the humans are unnecessary appendages to the world and should be utilized for their purpose rather than to be allowed to live in freedom."

The thirteen members of the council were now attentive, no longer displaying hatred in their eyes or anger in their posture. Kristopher smiled to himself and continued:

"I am different than my father. My father has gone soft, he only takes pleasure in doing what he believes is right and moral. But we are not moral creatures. We are of the night and we are forced to hide in shadows while the humans are given reign over the earth, allowed to progress and breed without fear or true understanding of what actually controls their world."

"We control their world," Terra said through gritted teeth. "We constantly have to repair it and replenish it because they keep destroying it."

"I realize that, dear spirit. That is exactly why they need to know everything that goes on when they are sleeping and eating and working and walking around on the earth like vermin. Their freedom is what makes them ignorant." Kristopher was pacing around the council table, stopping occasionally to listen to the members but wanted to stay the center of attention as long as he could.

"What about the vampires, Kristopher? You know that we are in need of blood but the regulations for human consumption are so strict," hissed another vampire with golden eyes from a powerful and rich family. Kristopher remembered his name to be Ezekiel Valentine.

Kristopher chuckled and focused his attention on the vampires. "Humans need to be enslaved, sold to vampires as servants and blood supply. The sweetest blood given to those in the royal families and those most wealthy and the lower end humans would be used in blood bars."

"And how do you plan on implementing this plan?" the rosy cheeked fire spirit with bright crimson hair and ebony black eyes chimed in. Kristopher had always liked her for she was vengeful and dark.

"I was wondering when that question would arise," Kristopher grinned darkly. He had stopped pacing and sat down delicately in his father's thrown at the end of the table. "The answer to all of our problems is simple. The humans are allowed to strut the earth as if they are the dominate species. They don't understand their freedom because they shouldn't even have it. The spirits work hard to make the world beautiful and healthy because it is their creation that should have never been disrupted. The vampires need blood and the humans are the only ones that they can drink from. The solution is to enslave the humans. The solution is to take away all their freedom and their hope and conform it into something that is impenetrable and ultimately inevitable. The solution is to take control of the world, without mercy and with such force that the humans won't even have the chance to fight back."

"It's not possible," Aura scoffed, crossing her hands back in front of her chest. "The king would never agree to it."

"This is true," smiled the dark and alluring Kristopher. "That is why the solution to all our problems is to kill the king."

Like fireworks, the conference room erupted in angry, excited words exchanging between both the spirits and the vampires. Everything that had ever wanted was so close and attainable with the plan that Kristopher presented. Every concern they had before the meeting was now lost in the sea of words that seemed unstoppable now that they all had plans forming in their heads. It was amazing to Kristopher how just one idea to kill the king could cause this much chaos in the council that was positive to his cause and would eventually work out so that he would be the king of the world.

The spirits looked as though they had just been given an award for all their hard work and the vampires looked ravenous for blood that they knew was so close. Power hungry, Kristopher stood from his father's thrown, soon to be his own, and left the conference room undetected. Walking past the grand fountain that stood in the entry way and made his way down the hall towards the slave quarters. Soon he would have so many slaves that he would never have to fast just to drink his fill of blood. Soon he would have the sweetest blood that had even been tasted and would never have to settle for the weak, bitter tasting blood of his starving slaves.

For the moment, he was ravenous. He wouldn't be able to wait any longer for the taste of blood on his lips. He wanted to feel drunk on blood like he felt drunk on power and he knew that he would never feel the same again.

Entering the slave quarters Kristopher went straight to the blond haired girl on the end. When she saw him approach she pulled her hair to one side of her neck, exposing her white skin and the multitude of scars that had formed from multiple bits. Coming up behind her, Kristopher sat down and held the girls head and neck in his hands. His gray eyes turned a deep red and he couldn't control himself any longer. Bringing his lips to her neck he sunk his teeth into her soft skin.

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Carolyna pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up over her head and dug her hands into her pockets. Her long dark hair flowed out and blew slightly in the wind around her. The only sound she made was the quick pace of her breath and the sound of her converse shoes on the hard concrete sidewalk. With her head slightly bowed, Carolyna peered from under the hood and looked cautiously around. She didn't want anyone to recognize her here. She didn't want to be known or seen or even given a second glance. This was what she was good at. She was invisible and she liked to stay that way.

Walking down the street without making eye contact with any of the passersbys, Carolyna neared her destination. Homeless children were chasing each other only a few paces in front of her and Carolyna moved to walk on the street to stay out of their way. The graffiti on the buildings were colorful and bright but she tried her best to keep her eyes down and move as quickly as possible. She loved this part of town but she knew that if her parents found out she would never be allowed to come there again. Recognition by just one family friend and it would be all over.

Crossing the street with the allowance of the white walking man and then hoping back up on the sidewalk, Carolyna looked up for a moment to see the neon sign hanging in the window that signaled her destination. Quickening her pace, she hurried up to the creaky black door and opened it with a soft push. A familiar tinkling of bells signaled her arrival and Carolina brushed the hood from her head.

Stepping into the shop, Carolyna smiled at the creaking of wood beneath her feet and the dark aura of the shop. Fake skulls hung from the ceiling, scattered all over the store that they were impossible not to notice. There were sleek black countertops and glass cabinets that held everything that was available to purchase and the dusty vinyl records rested in boxes that had skulls and fake spider webs covering their sides. Black lights illuminated the store with red lights reflecting off the walls that were covered in foggy mirrors. The store as a whole was like home for Carolyna. It was so different from everything else that was present in her life and allowed her to feel different and unique.

Another tinkling of bells could be heard at the back of the store and a slim man with dark, choppy hair that covered his dark eyes and smooth pale white skin walk in carrying a box of intricate devil statues and ruby and emerald necklaces. When he saw Carolina he smiled and set the box on the counter.

"Carolyna, I was wondering when you would be in again." He moved around the counter and when he had reached Carolyna, hugged her and gave her a small kiss on her forhead.

"It has been quite a while, hasn't it," she pondered, brushing her long hair behind her ear and smiling bashfully. "You wouldn't imagine how much trouble it is to get here."

"I don't doubt it. What would your parents say if they found out that you're not as straight edged as they originally thought?" he chuckled, his dark eyes twinkling like stars.

"Ha, that's not funny Jasper." Carolyna stuck her tongue out and began to look around at the different displays in the cabinets.

"You know it is true," Jasper smiled, grabbing the box he had set down and starting to put the items where they were meant to go.

"So what if it is? I like this store and this part of town and everything it has to offer. I'm not this innocent little girl that they used to know-" Carolyna paused. "Actually, they probably wouldn't notice me even if I didn't keep things in my life so much a secret."

Something reflective caught her eye and Carolyna looked down at the display that she was standing near. Through the glass she found herself in awe. In the display was a necklace. Hung by a long gold chain, the pendent was small, nothing too grand. The figure was a bat, its wings outstretched with gems that looked like emeralds. They reflected light and looked as though they were shining from some unknown source; like they were glowing on their own. The body of the bat was a pure black metal, strong looking with seemingly no light reflecting off its surface. Carolyna didn't know why she thought the necklace was so beautiful but she knew at that moment that she had to have it.

"Hey Jasper… How much for this necklace?" She couldn't look away from the pendent, almost afraid that it would disappear if her eyes ever left it.

Jasper came over to where she was standing and opened the case. Taking the necklace out from the display, he held it in his fingers and let the black light of the store glint off of the gems.

"For this baby, it's about eighty dollars." Jasper looked up from the necklace and saw that Carolyna couldn't take her eyes off of the necklace. "But for you, Carolyna… I'll give it to you for fifty."

Without hesitation she said, "I'll take it," and took fifty dollars cash out from her pocket. When Jasper handed over the necklace and Carolyna held the chain and the pendent in her hands, she immediately felt as though she were holding something with power. It seemed to vibrate in her fingers like it was alive. She thought maybe she felt a heartbeat, faint but present. The necklace was beautiful and she put the chain over her head and around her neck. The necklace was long enough that the bat could be hidden in her shirt and no one would be able to see the one thing that she now treasured more than anything else she owned.

With barely a mumble to Jasper, Carolyna pulled her hood over her head and walked quickly out the door. She felt energized, almost like a high, and she had to go somewhere, anywhere, to continue with the feeling. Now smiling with a grin so devious and ecstatic, she continued quickly down the street, unsure of where she was going but so happy to be alive.