Chapter 1

"Sit down over there, Mr. Royalle. Yes, that desk right there. That will be fine." Miss Retherford quickly shooed me to my desk. The class was loud and obnoxious, and teenagers were all over the place. Some sat on the desks of their friends, others were standing along the walls. I wearily sat down at my desk. I was used to this routine by now. The class wouldn't notice me there, and then when the bell rang, everyone would hurry to their seats. Then the whispering would start. The ones nearest me would start it. Then the whispering would spread. Sometimes a couple of people, like the ones who sat furthest from my desk wouldn't notice, but when the teacher called out role, or asked for me to introduce myself, everyone always stared. Like they couldn't believe that the Prince of Raybourne was actually here, sitting in a desk next to them.

Sure enough, when the bell rang and everyone sat down, the whispering started. Miss Retherford called me up to the front so I could introduce myself. I stood up, and walked to the front of the classroom. I heard girls giggling behind me, and the pieces of their conversation that I could catch had words like "swagger" and "adorable". "Gorgeous", "cute", and "hot" also were voiced. I ignored them, like I do every year. When I reached the front, I began. "Hey. I'm Asher. Asher Royalle. I may seem different to you guys, but really I am just as much a teenager as your typical Raybourne guy. I like skateboarding, video games, and computer programming. I am a junior. Questions?

A hand shot into the air. Miss Retherford called on her. "Yes, Teegan." It's always a girl, the first question, and it's always about being a prince. Then a guy typically raised his hand, usually asking some stupid question like, "Do prince's eat hamburgers?". Anyway, the girl, Teegan, was gorgeous. And I mean gorgeous. Hot, beautiful, amazing. She was... perfect. I didn't hear her question. I saw her luscious lips move as she voiced it, though. I saw her hair flip as she glanced at her friend sitting behind her. I heard her giggle; a shy, nervous laugh. Then I realized that other people were looking at me expectantly.

"Um, what?" My voice had dropped an octave, without me realizing it. I cleared my throat, and then almost facepalmed. What an idiotic thing to say! But I payed attention as she asked the question again.

"What is the strangest hobby you have?" Teegan looked at me teasingly, as if she knew why I didn't hear her the first time. Unfortunately, this is probably the worst question she could have asked. I was forever grateful that she didn't ask me something about being a prince, but this question... There was no way I could answer it truthfully. Because... The truthful answer was a crime. An unthinkable crime. One so bad, you wouldn't be thrown in jail, like what happens to you for all other crimes. This one... the harsh sentence was first, humiliation. Second, pain. Third, exile. And fourth, usually death.

For her question, I said the first hobby that popped into my head. "I like to experiment with molecular gastronomy." I mentally facepalmed again. Really? Gastronomy? An uncertain wave of laughter began to sweep across the room. I quickly intervened. "It's food art. It's where you reorganize the molecular structure of food, basically." Everyone looked at each other with interest. Changing the molecular structure of food? How does that work? Sounds interesting.

The only reason I said that was because, as a prince, I was required to become extremely schooled in all subjects. When we got to Kitchen Chemistry(One of many unstudied topics), I learned it quickly. I studied it with Bryce Cook, and also my chemistry teacher, Mr. Jenkins. They made quite a pair. Cook provided the recipes and cooking skills. Jenkins added the chemistry part to it, and together we made art. We made tomato soup in the shape of a noodle. We made a liquified olive, that stayed in a ball merely because that was the shape it was made to me. It was fascinating, really. Miss Retherford looked it up on her Desk, and with the tap of a link, a video of Gastronomy was portrayed on everyone's Desk.

After the video was over, Miss Retherford thanked me for that presentation. "Thank you, Asher, for that lovely presentation. You may now be seated." I obliged and returned to my seat, forcing myself to keep my eyes away from the angel sitting just a few desks away. "Now class, please open the joint folder titled "Lesson 1.1. Today we are going to be learning about functions. Now, Jason. Is this graph a function?"

After class with Miss Retherford, I rushed out of the door with the rest of the kids. I tried to ignore the stares in the hall, and the haunting whispers that followed me as I travelled towards Icelandic class. Of all languages, the only one they taught at Corwyn High was Icelandic. Really? What child, whilst in high school, said one day, "I am going to (insert job here) in Iceland once I graduate from high school!" Fortunately, I knew Icelandic, because it was taught to me by yet another tutor. Mrs. Kristjanna, which is Icelandic for "Smith", has been teaching me since I was 6. I knew Icelandic, yet it was required to graduate from high school with four years of a foreign language, so here I was, reviewing everything I already knew. Mr. Taylor, our Icelandic teacher, is a nice guy. He realized my ability, so he pretty much lets me do whatever I want in that class. I read books, mostly, but sometimes I do homework. I still take quizzes and everything, but I don't need to learn it all again, thank goodness.

The same routine occurred all day. I made no friends at all, the first day of school. Everyone treated me like a mutant. Surprise! The worst part of the whole day, besides the fact that Teegan was in 5 out of my 7 classes, was that my father decided to pick me up in his Hexteria, only the most expensive, most fantastic, most hexteric model of Jade Merchandise. As I walked out the front gates, I saw his car: a sleek, black, vehicle that is low to the ground. The two door model had smooth, heated leather seats, a dark grey color. The high tech stereo had a boom box and surround sound inside of the car. The tinted windows allowed for no vision into the car, but I knew my dad was driving it. Only his car is that recklessly scary. The window rolled down, and my father, decked out in his kingly wear, looked at me, all gangsta like, with his wrist resting on the steering wheel lazily.

The music was blasting, but I managed to hear his unforgettable voice ask me a question: "You coming?" I nodded and approached the car. I placed my hand on the side of the vehicle, and my handprint was scanned. The door unlocked, and swung upward in a smooth motion. I hopped in. Once my feet were clear of the door, it swung shut again, swinging out and downward. My dad zoomed out of the school parking lot faster than you could probably blink, and we were gone.

The school was out in the country, so we had quite a ride before we approached the city. I ended up staring uncomfortably out of the window until we reached our home. In the center of the city, smack dab in the middle, was my home. I lived in a giant skyscraper, the tallest one in the nation. My room was the penthouse. As we approached the driveway, I noticed again how fantastic it was. We had a gate right off of Warndrive. It was a big, modern looking gate, with a hint of rustic. The wrought iron spikes off of the top completed the look. After we entered the gates (my dad scanned his print into the gate for entrance), we pulled into a concrete parking garage full of cars.

Now when I say full, I mean full. This was my dad's playground. There were monster trucks, Rolls Royce(old cars), Mercedes, in all sorts of colors. Black was the most popular, but he had white, red, blue, neon purple, orange, and even a rainbow car. That one was for show. He never drove it. Many of his cars had special features, such as flamethrowers stocked in the hood, machine guns in the rearview mirrors, even retractable spikes in the tires! My personal favorite was the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder, but it is an extremely old car, one that was the rave way back in 2013. All of his other cars were newer than this one; he only kept it because it was my favorite. Being 16, he was teaching me how to drive, and often took me out in the Spyder, because it was the one he cared least about. I personally loved it, because I was getting a feel for the car he would hopefully give me.

Once he was done showing me the things he was tinkering with, I headed up to my room. I scanned my hand onto the reinforced glass elevator door, and they slid into the concrete walls. Everything in our 'castle' is scan operated, by the way. Wanted a soda from the fridge? Scan your handprint to get it to open. There were no doors, no handles. Everything was flat, and opened automatically when the correct hand was scanned. Another interesting thing about the scanner was that the head of the household could lock out certain people during certain times. If, for example, my dad didn't want me eating a snack in the middle of the night, he could just lock me out of the kitchen door. Everyone else could get in, but not me. My handprint was 'incorrect' when he placed restrictions. This was extremely helpful when people tried to steal or break into houses, cars, even stores. If the handprint was incorrect, it notified the owner, whatever the thing might be. Sometimes, like for Linez, our superstore, the cops were directly notified, while for minor things like a kitchen door, it notified the head of the household.

I stepped into the elevator. This elevator was the only one that led up to my floor. It was like a movable room. I turned and scanned my handprint again. The screen switched to a panel of touch screen buttons. I tapped the top floor, the penthouse, with my index finger. "Good Afternoon, sir. Did you have an enjoyable day today?"

"Yes, Corbin. It was most enjoyable." There was a couch against the far wall. The leather creme cushions were extremely comfortable. When I sat down, the elevator lifted. I relaxed, and waited until we got to the penthouse. When the elevator arrived, I stood up, and the doors opened automatically. Once I passed the doors, and entered my room, the elevator doors closed and it lowered from my view. I turned around, faced my room, and sighed in satisfaction. I faced my living room. Luxurious couches, a glass coffee table, a few potted plants, and my art selections greeted me. I walked forward, and placed my Desk on my couch.

I turned left and walked into my snack bar. It was just like a kitchen, but it had a microwave, a stove, and a pantry full of snacks and other things. An assortment of drinks filled the fridge, all of my favorite sodas. My accessories in the kitchen were chrome colored. My walls were painted silver, my couch was silver, my rugs were silver. Everything was a different hue of grey, silver, or off white. It looked really cool. I grabbed a box of Oreos and went into my room. My bedroom, on the other hand, was black with red accents. The king sized bed had memory foam, and my carpet was also memory foam infused. I had a walk in closet, and hiding on the back wall was a door. This door led to the roof. The roof was my most favorite place in the world. I loved the ability to look down 90 stories and see the specks of cars rushing by. I loved to feel the wind in my face. I have a garden on my roof, and also a mini-golf course. I have a water slide with a pool, which is seriously awesome. Unfortunately, my dad seems to forget that I have an uncanny fear of slides. I always used the diving board.

I went back into my closet, and I quickly stripped down. I pulled my swimsuit on, and headed back outside. It was hot today, perfect for a swim. I walked through my garden on the way to the pool, and as I passed one of my potted palms, I reached down to check to make sure the soil was damp. At least, that is what anyone who saw me touch the soil would think. As my head came back up, I readjusted my grasp on the small silver object more firmly. I continued to the pool, and jumped in. I did a couple of laps, and then I dove deep into the pool. My pool is 16 feet deep, you must understand. I shoved the metal piece into my mouth, and breathed deeply. The silver strip separated the H2 and the O, and I breathed the oxygen from the water. I swam all the way down to the Northwest corner, where I placed my hand on the wall. It scanned quickly, and I swam back to the surface. I removed the silver strip right before I emerged from the water, and then walked over to my towel rack, to dry off. Once I was wrapped inside of my towel, I returned to the garden and I replaced the oxygenator back in the pot. Then I went back downstairs, into my closet.

"Asher?" My father's voice came onto the intercom located in my ceilings. I jogged over to the button, and then replied.

"What's up, dad?"

"We have guests. Come on down." He sounded stressed. I sighed and went back to my closet to change. I threw on a shirt and some jeans, and then took the elevator down to the main floor. When it dinged open, I stepped out, looking for the said guests. I sucked in sharply when I saw none other than Teegan standing in my house! A particle of spit went down my windpipe, and I made my grand entrance, choking and turning red. She looked over to me, surprised. "Hey, Asher! What are you doing here?" I nearly choked for a second time.

"What am I doing here? This is my house! Don't I get to go wherever I want in it? The real question is, what are YOU doing here?" That's when I noticed pink luggage sitting next to her on the floor. "What's that?" I pointed to the luggage. She laughed nervously.

"Oh, your dad didn't tell you? I'm going to be spending the school year here, in your... house. My mom works for your dad, somehow, and she is leaving for a year long trip to Fletcherston, and your dad was kind enough to offer to house me while she was gone! Isn't that great?" She smiled at me, as gorgeous as ever.

"Uh, yeah! Thats awesome. I guess. Which floor are you staying on?"

"Oh, nothing much. Just the 89th floor." for the third time in that minute, I choked.

"The 89th? Like below the penthouse? THAT 89th?" She looked at me strangely.

"Yeah... The only 89th in this mansion. What floor is your floor?" She was teasing me, I knew it. And suddenly I started liking her less and less.

"Uh... the um... the 90th. I got the penthouse." I avoided her gaze.

"Oh! That's awesome! So we can be even closer than I imagined!" Now THAT was just creepy. I nodded hesitantly, and I started edging away.

"Well, I've got to get back to... homework." But of course, just as I said that, my father came in.

He was wearing his crown, which he NEVER does. "Oh, hi! I see you guys have already met? Since you already know each other, Asher, could you take her things up to her floor?" He looked at me with his You-Better-Do-It-Right-Now-Or-I-Will-Kill-You-Later look. I nodded and walked closer to her. I almost shuddered. The closer I got to her, the less appealing she looked. She looked like some freak person, because she was perfect. In every way. It was... frightening. I reached down and grabbed her suitcase. It was a lot heavier than it looked. Maybe she was that way too. Anyways, she grabbed her shoulder bag, and looked at me expectantly. What was she waiting for? Oh, yeah. She needed me to take her there. I appreciated wheels more than I ever have in the past. We went back to the elevator, and I scanned my print. The doors opened, and we crowded into the elevator. Right now, with more than one person in it, it seemed a lot smaller. I was in the back, so I couldn't reach the button.

"Could you... hit that button, right there? Yeah, the 89th. There you go. Thanks." I collapsed on the couch, and sighed. It was only when she sat down too that I realized it was a love seat. Not an actual couch. Great. Was I going to have to sit on a loveseat with here every single day for a YEAR? She sat back into the cushions, awfully close to me.

"Well, This is... cozy." She said. I nodded, uncomfortable beyond belief. The forty seconds that it takes to reach the floor seemed like eternity. I almost asked Corbin to play some elevator music for us. But, I decided that it would only make it more awkward. Finally the bell dinged, and I hastily got off the couch. I expected the room to look like a typical guest room, however, I saw pink everywhere. Pink chiffon curtains, pink couch pillows, pink throw rugs. I didn't want to see what her bedroom looked like.

"Well, there you go! Here's your room, so... just grab your luggage and... Scadattle! See you around!" I tried to excuse myself. I turned to go, and almost made it to the elevator, when an icy voice stopped me.

"Oh, you are not going anywhere, Asher Royalle. Finally I have succeeded in gaining entrance to this castle, so now, I have great plans for you." I turned, afraid of what I would see. I saw Teegan, smiling at me with her barbie doll smile, and her eyes seemed to bore right through me. I coughed, and continued to back into the elevator. "I am looking forward to your future- I mean, our future."

Suddenly, Teegan blinked, and her eyes focused on me in a more... normal way. "See you later,

Asher!" She said cheerfully. I nodded, scared out of my mind.

"Right." I hastily pushed the button, and sat on the couch. The doors closed, and my last view of creepy Teegan was of her petting the couch pillows, muttering to herself with that creepy smile. Uh... Right... I thought. Now, I needed to get to my... Hideout. My real hideout.

The first thing I did when I got into my room was grab a Snap. the delicious fizzy drink slid down my throat, and I savored the sweet grape flavor that I have been craving all day. See, I have an... addiction of sorts. Grape Snap is my savior. They are my lifeline. I survive off of it. Literally. Then, I turned and walked back into my room.

"Corbin, you remember that project we worked on last year?" I asked my favorite computer system of all time.

"Of course, sir. How could I possibly forget?" came the australian accented reply. The Island of Australia sank into the ocean a long time ago, but I like the accent, so Corbin uses that accent.

"Well," I said, as I casually walked over to my wall of trophies, "Why don't we take a little visit to the land down under?" I asked him. I reached up and re-organized my trophy collection that was perched above my head. I had to stand on my bed to do it, but that wasn't a problem, our endless number of maids gave me fresh sheets daily. I grabbed a chin-up bar to catch my balance, or so it seemed. Really, I touched a small trigger near the bolt that held it in the ceiling. It's quite a complex system, but I think all the extra protection is a good bonus. I fell back and lay on my bed, breathing deeply. This part always made me jumpy. "Alright, Corbin, Let's go."

"Right away, sir." I felt the bed twist and re-adjust. It rotated 180 degrees. Now my head, which was at the foot, was at the head or my bed again. If I reached up and felt my headboard, I would have felt empty space. Then the foot of the bed lifted, and I slid down the silver slide, head first. I landed in a ball pit. It was Corbins idea. I shuddered as I remembered the cold, dark, tunnel I went down headfirst. It helped when I knew what was at the bottom, and the ball pit was kind of fun. I Clamored out of the pit, and sat down in my swively chair, I logged onto my giant computer screens. On one, I had full files on everyone living here, and their location. On another one, I had my homework assignment up and ready for me to do. Correction: for Corbin to do. On an additional computer, I had minecraft up and ready. Corbin was awesome. If my dad ever found out that I had upgraded him to... assist me in my endeavors, he would probably murder me. Or try to. He can't kill me. But, as I was saying, Corbin is awesome. He set it up so my 'lair' would receive all the information that my room would. So, If my dad called for me in my room, I would answer in Australia, and he wouldn't even know. I decided to call my hide out Australia because I was fascinated with the self sustaining island, and how it just sank into the sea, when it was at one time the most prosperous continent in the world.

"Corbin, pull up the files on Teegan, please." I was multitasking- most of my attention was focused on WW7 the Game, on the 198 inch TV. Everyone is obsessed with World War 7. If there ever is one... It's very unlikely... The past 6 have been pretty much over the same thing... Slavery, kings and queens, slavery, slavery... The anti-slaveryists won the 6th, so right now we didn't have slaves. I think my dad just decided to hire our help, so we will be fine either way.

"Here you go, sir. Anything else?" Corbin asked. I pulled my eyes away from the TV, and I focused on the monitor with every bit of information there ever was on Teegan Richards. I clicked on the first file and began muttering out loud to myself as I skimmed her material.

"Born on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Daughter of Crystal and Greg Richards. Her father and mother died in 2068." I paused, and re-read the information given. Wait... She was born in 2019? That was... I made some calculations in my head. If it was 2138 right now, then her parent's died when she was 49, and she was 119 years old. "Uhh... Corbin? Could you run some tests and see if that girl in the floor below mine is the same person? Just do it based off of pictures and fingerprints, please. I'd like to make sure that this is still Teegan Richards we are talking about. Thanks." I sat back in my chair, wondering what had just happened. Shaking my head, trying to clear my boggled mind, I decided on reading about our history, I opened up my favorite series, Alex Rider. I know, it's seriously old, but it is the closest description I've ever received about our history. And I love learning about history. Honestly, it's my favorite subject. I opened up the first book, and started to read. I was just nearing the fifth chapter when I was interrupted by my favorite Australian voice.

"Sir, it seems that Miss Teegan Richards's record is incorrect." I breathed a sigh of relief. He continued. "She is not 119 years old. I identified the fact that the Teegan Richards in your file is indeed the Teegan Richards on the 89th floor. She is actually older than 300 years old. This is not possible according to the laws of nature, however her DNA strands verify that..." He continued, but I had stopped listening. Teegan was a vampire! It had to be the only explanation! Ageless youth, beautiful girl, it all followed everything I've ever learned about Vampires. Well, whatever they knew about the vicious bloodsucking beasts that turned into bats and had fangs and could run super fast. That's what I've heard, at least.

"Corbin?" I interrupted his information. "Could you please tell me if vampires are real? I have suspicion that Teegan is a vampire." I never needed to be afraid that Corbin would insult me; he always answered my questions without a single inkling of haughtiness or annoyance.

"It is extremely unlikely that Teegan is a vampire, sir. based on my research, all of your sources have been fictional stories, and there aren't many nonfiction books or facts about vampires out there. those that are there disagree with each other." I nodded, grateful that I wasn't housing someone who would eat me, or suck my blood, in my sleep.

"Then, she is older than she looks." I stated, trying to get a direct confirmation.

"Yes. She is, as I said before, over than 300 years old."

"And could you give me the short version of HOW she is that old? I mean, It's not like she made a sorcerer's stone, right?" I chuckled at my joke, but most people nowadays wouldn't understand, because hardly anyone read old books anymore.

"Actually, it's probably something similar to that. The information says that she had recorded years of research of a said 'Kratsuld theory', and spend decades trying to prove it correct. It appears that she may have succeeded, and made some life elixir in the process."

"Alright, thanks Corbin." I was blown away. I think I was just starting to begin to understand this confusing bit of information when another voice interrupted my thoughts.

"Asher! Dinner has been ready for over 5 minutes! Come down now! I've called you multiple times." My father's voice sounded tense. I sighed, and got up from my swively chair.

"Okay, Corbin. We will pick up where we left off after dinner."

"Very well, sir." He replied indifferently.