(I just wanted to say that I appreciate reviews for the things I write, but I would really like if no one would point out my grammar errors. Unfortunately I don't have the time to sit and pick through finding the little errors here and there. I'm mainly concerned about the story itself, and whether or not it's good or bad. Thanks. Also, this story will switch from first person, to third person frequently, so just wanted to point that out in case there was confusion.)
The street was hectic. I don't think I had ever seen so many people crammed in one place at once in my entire life. Music was blaring, people were laughing- There was so much activity it was making my head ache.
We had arrived at the carnival nearly an hour ago. Felix and I decided to stick together, trying our best to blend in with the massive crowd. So far, the only thing we had successfully done was eaten probably ten pounds worth of food, and guzzled more fizzy drinks then I ever thought possible. By the time we finally found an empty bench to sit on, my stomach was about ready to burst.
"I think I forgot we were sent here on a mission." Felix said, his voice practically muted out from all the noise.
If it weren't for the weapons I was carrying in my large purse I would have forgotten too. But every once in a while my bag would smack against my hip and I would feel the hard metal. In every instance that happened, my stomach would fall a little farther.
"Just keep your eyes open, k?" I replied, tossing the rest of my food into a nearby garbage pail.
Felix however, continued to stuff his face. I wasn't sure how he hadn't thrown up yet, he was a skinny kid, barely weighing more than 140, and being nearly six feet tall- There wasn't much to him. Still he somehow managed to continuously stuff himself as if his stomach was an endless black abyss.
"See anything strange yet?" He asked, mouth full.
"Nope. Not yet, although I'm not entirely sure what I should be looking for. In case you've forgotten- Vampires look normal for the most part. As bad as it is to say, the only way to notice something strange is if people suddenly start dying."
"You might be right." Felix stood, giving a slight stretch. "Let's keep walking."
My feet were killing me. I had so foolishly decided to wear a pair of the most uncomfortable sandals ever to curse a womans feet. I thought I could take a break for a few minutes on that bench but Felix was going stir crazy. He was hyperactive and couldn't sit still for longer than a minute at a time.
That morning my Dad made it clear to not only myself, but to everyone else that was heading to the carnival that we had to go to the extremes as far as trying to blend in. Which meant that I had to borrow an outfit from Emilia. My jeans were a dark wash, my top a creamy white with a light pink heart pattern, it tied in the back and the sleeves were loose and flowy. I even went to the extremes of waving my hair and putting on makeup. As soon as Felix saw me he started in with the jokes. I wasn't a girly girl, no doubt about it, but I didn't think I looked that bad. But as I walked, and those damn sandals were starting to dig into my toes I wanted to go back to the academy and slap Emilia for ever suggesting them.
We squeezed through the crowd as best as possible trying not to get separated. The more we walked and the more I watched the people, noticing that no one seemed to be the slightest bit alarmed at anything, I was beginning to wonder if maybe my Father's messenger was wrong. Maybe nothing would go wrong here today. Maybe there wouldn't be any vampires?
The farther down the street we walked away from the festivities the more the crowd began to thin, when Felix stopped and leaned against a street lamp. I let out a sigh of relief.
"Uhhh." He groaned, holding his stomach. "I don't feel so well."
"That's what you get for eating every fried food you could get your hands on." I replied.
"No, seriously. I think I'm gonna puke." He moaned.
I glanced around the area, noticing a few little boutiques that were open.
"Go in and find a bathroom then."
"Ughhh." He continued to moan. "I don't think I'll make it."
With that he darted into a nearby alley. I didn't follow, not exactly eager to see him blow chunks everywhere but was blessed with having to hear it. After his gagging and retching a good five times it finally grew silent.
"Are you ok?" I called out, hearing no response. "Felix? Are you ok? Do you want a drink or something?"
I heard a gurgle and choke and cringed. Obviously his puking session wasn't over with. I waited a few more minutes until hearing more silence before finally turning and walking into the alley.
For a moment I didn't quite know what to think. For a moment I couldn't understand why three men were standing in the alley with a guy who had just thrown his guts up. Maybe they were concerned bystanders? I thought, maybe they were just coming to see if he was ok?
No... This scene clearly was not that of concerned bystanders wanting to check on Felix's welfare. For one, two of the men were standing together halfway blocking my vision, the other... Wait a minute.
I took a step closer as my heart seemed to stop. No, no no. There was something wrong here. The third man had Felix in a death grip, his arms tangled around his chest forcing Felix's own arms to twist into an unnatural bent mess. Felix's eyes were half open, his face growing pale. By the time I realized what was happening, a trickle of blood escaped the slight gap between Felix's neck, and the mans sharp fangs. It slid down his chest and t-shirt, eventually dribbling onto the pavement.
It was a vampire. I knew that now. I knew he was going to kill Felix if I didn't do something, but it seemed I couldn't make my feet move.
A slight breeze blew through the alley, the bag I carried on my shoulder swung from it yet again striking me in the hip. Finally I seemed to snap out of the terror filled daze I was in as I remembered the weapons in my purse.
With shaking hands I pried the first one my hand grazed across free, which just so happened to be the metal stake. Once the stake was in my hand and my attention focused only on the one vampire who was killing my best friend, I made a move.
Somehow, I don't know how, but I burst through the two other vampires that were standing guard. Either they didn't notice me standing at the end of the alley or they simply didn't care because when I pushed through, and rammed the end of my stake in their buddies chest- The only sound to be heard was the crack of his sternum as the metal penetrated his tough skin and bone, successfully puncturing his dead heart.
Once I had ground the stake in as far as possible, leaving it sticking out less than halfway, his grip loosened on Felix. I watched in horror as my cousin slumped to the ground, blood oozing from the bite on his neck as he choked and tried to breath.
The vampire who had bitten him stood stiff and frozen, his dark eyes transfixed on the weapon that now jutted out of him before he too crumpled to the ground with a crack and thud.
Time seemed to slow down, the laughing, talking and constant music blaring from the carnival became muted out. First instincts would be to tend to my wounded cousin, but the two men who seemed to be as surprised as I was had other things in mind.
My last glance at Felix before I blacked out, was his eyes rolling back in his head as blood pooled around him.
When my eyes snapped open I could only see blackness, my face halfway covered with a dark blindfold. I could feel the smooth hum of pavement beneath me, as the vehicle I sat in jetted down the street.
"She's awake." I heard a man say, his voice was gruff and deep. Far too deep to come from a normal man I could imagine.
"Good." Said another, he sounded equally disturbing. "She should be awake to get what's coming to her for killing Gibson."
At that moment as the fog began to fade from my mind, I realized my hands were tied behind my back, and I could feel someones cold dead body sitting next to me in the seat. He moved slightly when my head bobbed up, and I heard a laugh.
"Have a nice nap?" He asked.
"Where are you taking me?"
"You don't have the luxury of asking questions." Was his reply.
I grew silent, trying to remember all of the classes I had at Eldridge. If you ever had the misfortune of finding yourself in a vampires clutches the first thing you were to do was try your best to assess the area around you. Since that apparently was not an option due to the blindfold over my eyes- I instead tried to notice any identifiable smells, or sounds. But since I was sitting in a moving car, with the windows rolled up the only smell that blasted against my face was the stale air of the air conditioner.
I focused instead on the way the man drove the car. Judging by the speed, I didn't think we had left the city. He stopped frequently for nearly ten minutes before the road ahead seemed to lengthen, and now I could only guess that the city was growing smaller and smaller in the distance. With a sharp left of the car, it hit a deep pothole and I was tossed to my right, smacking into the man beside me.
"Slow it down." The man said. "The last thing we need is to get pulled over."
He shoved me back into sitting position as I continued to listen to the car whizzing down the road.
"What do you think will happen?" The driver asked.
"Hopefully she'll get her lumps for killing Gibson." The man beside me answered.
The driver laughed, and it was the most horrifying and sinister thing I had ever heard. It sent chills down my spine, and goosebumps rose on my skin.
I tried my damndest to see through the dark fabric over my eyes, but to no avail. If I wasn't certain that there was a blindfold over me I would have been convinced they had gauged my eyes out.
Now I moved my wrists slightly, trying to see if there was any way I could break free from the tight binds around them. When all I felt was a painful pinch from my skin being stretched I knew that breaking free wasn't a possibility. But I shouldn't have expected any less from a vampire. I had killed one of their friends and naturally they weren't going to let his murderer escape that easily.
The car continued to speed down the road, until it took another sharp left. Once again, the car smacked into a deep pothole. Instantly my eyebrow arched. I waited for it, another ten minutes passed before for the third time a sharp left, and right after, deep pothole.
They were leading me in circles. Driving around the same path over and over again to fool me. More then likely to make me think we were driving a long distance away from the city, when in reality we probably were just on the outskirts. After another four times of doing the same thing, the car hitting the exact same pothole after a sharp left, we drove a little farther before the car took a right and I could hear the crunching of gravel beneath the car, and after pulling inside I could hear the creaking or groaning of gates closing.
The path we drove on was long, I made sure to take a mental note of that. We were schooled in all of the homes, flats, and other buildings in the area and unfortunately there was no way of determining which place they were taking me to just by the long driveway alone.
When the car started to pull to a stop I heard the drivers window go down.
"What we have here?" A voice outside the car asked.
"A Hunter." The driver replied, "One that killed Gibson."
"Gibson's dead?" The second man replied, he sounded shaken.
"Why else would we have brought her back here?"
"Park and get inside, I'll take care of the car and make sure you weren't followed."
Judging by their accents I could tell they were born and raised in or near London. But actually figuring out what century would be impossible. If everyone here was a vampire there was a chance they were hundreds of years old, if not more.
The driver pulled the car a little farther before stopping completely and shutting off the engine. I heard him get out, slamming the door afterwards and then the door on my side of the car opened.
Even though I didn't want to cooperate with these people I said nothing when I was yanked roughly from the car. Had the man not been holding my arm I would have fallen onto the gravel.
The second vampire grabbed my other arm, and together they escorted me past the car.
I listened to the sounds around me, not hearing any traffic from vehicles. Either the house was far enough away from the road, or we weren't in a section of the city that was crowded. Past the birds chirping, and the peacefulness I smelled something fragrant over the air.
Flowers... If I was to guess, they were Forget me Nots. From what I had been taught in the academy, Forget me Nots were a flower favored by vampires. According to beliefs those particular types of flowers held a special meaning. If given to someone, it meant they would never be forgotten, which is why they had been used long ago during funerals of a loved ones death. Considering vampires were the walking dead, it was almost an inside joke to them to surround their homes with thick gardens of Forget me Nots. It was like they were saying they would never be forgotten, because they sure as hell weren't going anywhere to make that happen.
Still that wasn't enough of a clue to tell me where I might have been. Forget me Nots grew all over the countryside, in meadows, fields and along the roads, not to mention that even normal humans chose to plant them in their gardens. Even at Eldridge they grew on the grounds.
Now we started up a set of steps. I counted each and every one. One, two, three, four, five. Then we walked a good five feet before I heard a door groan open. Judging by the sound, it had to be heavy. Maybe even a metal door by how loudly it slammed shut behind us.
Inside was bitter cold, a huge contrast to the hot outdoors. Summer in London wasn't usually this hot, but for some reason today it decided to feel like the inside of an oven.
I was being dragged through, honestly- I didn't know what. Judging by the sounds of my footsteps, it sounded like a hard tiled hallway. Past the shrill chill to the air, came the faint smells of perfume or flowers. The blindfold that covered the majority of my face was itching my skin and causing me to sweat. My arms which were firmly clamped in the hands of two strong vampires were aching, the circulation being cut off to my hands and fingers.
Showing fear was the last thing I wanted to do right then, knowing that it would only motivate them into torturing me somehow. Even though I tried not to show fear through my expressions or body language, nothing would have been able to stop them from hearing how quickly my heart was racing. As far as I was concerned they were walking me straight to my own execution. Where ever I was, I was not getting back out alive. Since I killed one of their men, the only reasonable punishment for me would be death as well. And, no doubts it was going to be a painful and gruesome one. The only thing I could wish for, as they dragged me through this bone chilling place, was that Felix survived the attack. The last glimpse I caught of my cousin, he was lying on the ground bleeding from the neck, choking and gasping for air.
We walked for miles, at least that's what it felt like. But as far as I was concerned we could walk for decades if it meant being spared eaten alive. Unfortunately though the walk came to an end as I heard a door creak open. A cool blast of air shot out in my face, momentarily drying the sweat that caked underneath my blindfold.
The two men pulled me through the doorway, and my footsteps were still loudly tapping against the hard floors only now an echo followed suit, which led me to believe we were now in a large open room.
Before I could make a sound I felt a kick on the back of my leg and I was sent to the floor. I gasped slightly from the impact, feeling my jeans skin up my right knee and my elbows smacking against what I now felt was a slick marble. I struggled to sit back up again, what with having my hands tied behind my back. When I was finally standing on my knees, the sound of one set of footsteps began to circle me.
"What do we have here?" A mans voice spoke. It was low and quiet, very calm considering the situation. His thick English accent only added to the calming effect.
"This bitch killed Gibson." The large vampire man I had seen in the alley said, I recognized his voice instantly.
"Did she now?" The second man spoke. His tone hadn't changed at all, even after hearing that I had killed a vampire.
"She's an Amsel." The other vampire man in the alley said. "She had the weapons, and..." He paused and reached over pulling up my sleeve exposing the tattoo on the back of my shoulder. "And her family crest imprinted on her."
Once an Amsel was deemed worthy to join the schools each was imprinted with our family crest. I had one, so did Felix, my Father and uncle. Every family member. It was in the shape of a shield, with two daggers forming an X on the top.
"Well it has certainly been a while since I have encountered a Hunter, especially one with the reputation of being an Amsel." The quiet man said. "Stand her up. The least she can do is look at me face to face when she explains her actions."
I felt a pair of hands tuck under my arms and yank me roughly to my feet. I let out a slight yelp from the surprise of it all.
Even though I couldn't see anything I knew that the man was standing in front of me, there was even more of a chill slapping me straight in the face- A chill that could only come from a vampire.
"Do you know who I am, child?" The man asked.
I shook my head in answer.
"My friends didn't bother to explain to you where you were being taken?"
Yet again, I shook my head.
"Well I am not sure whether or not to laugh, or feel pity for you. Seeing is that you're an Amsel, I'm sure the name Mikel would not be unheard of to you."
Any attempt at trying not to show fear failed right then and there as the mask I tried my best to hide my expressions with, cracked. For a split second my jaw tightened, my breath quickened, and it was just enough for him to notice.
"Judging by the beats of your heart I take it you have heard of me?" Mikel asked.
"Being an Amsel it would be hard not to." I finally spoke, somehow managing to croak out words without stuttering.
He chuckled quietly, but the echo of it still bounced across the room.
"What is your name?"
"Lorelei." I answered quickly.
"You're Alexander's daughter, correct?"
For a moment I wondered how he knew my Father, but decided against asking about it.
"Interesting indeed. Alexander must be getting rusty in his old age." Mikel laughed again and I only scowled. "Endangering his daughters life was a foolish thing to do."
"He wasn't endangering my life. This was supposed to be an outing for myself and cousin, and your friend Gibson decided to make my cousin his meal."
Mikel stopped pacing in front of me.
"You mean to tell me that you attacked a human in public?" I knew the question wasn't directed at me, I could hear one of his little buddies clear their throat.
"It was in a secluded alley way, Lord. You know how Gibson was. He always got excited in a big crowd. He wanted a little snack."
"You know the rules. We do not feed in a public place. We do not want to draw attention to us. Gibson is lucky he is dead right now." Mikel moved closer, I could just feel his eyes piercing through the blindfold and searing into mine. "Remove her blindfold. I want to see this girls face and explain to her what is going to happen now."
One of his men approached and ripped the fabric off of my face. I squinted from the light in what I can only describe was a ballroom. I hadn't the chance to examine it carefully because as soon as my eyes adjusted to the light the only thing I could look at was the man standing before me.
The first thing I noticed was a pair of striking blue eyes, the type you wouldn't even think could exist on a person. They were so vibrant, so mesmerizing, it was hard to believe they were real at all. For a moment, even though I was frightened out of my mind, I couldn't help but stare aimlessly at them in awe.
He was good looking, I'll say that much. And the drawing Felix had created of him wasn't that far off from how he actually looked. There were a few things about him that were inaccurate from the drawing. He had a slight dimple in his chin, his lips were fuller, and even though I knew he was a dangerous and ruthless predator, there was a softness to his bone structure that completely masked that. He looked as though he hadn't shaved in a few days, but it was far from being a full beard. A slight stubble is what I would call it. He wore a form fitting black v-neck sweater, long sleeved and it hugged him like a glove. Paired with it was a pair of black trousers and leather shoes.
After I made sure to examine as much of him as I could, I finally noticed that since the blindfold was pulled from my face and our eyes met- He simply stood there stiff and frozen, his eyes slightly widened in what I could only describe was surprise. Why? I had no idea. I had never seen this man before in my entire life.
Instead of speaking, like I thought he would do, he turned his back to me and finally his stiff posture began to break. I noticed him bring up his right hand and lie it against his chest, holding it there for several long seconds before finally standing straight and turning back to face me.
He looked startled, and if it was at all possible for a vampire, he turned an even greater shade of white.
"Let's see." He said, only now his voice was slightly shaken. "You claimed that Gibson attacked your family member, correct?"
"He bit him, and if I hadn't of showed up when I did he very well could have killed him. Although, seeing is that I was dragged here to this pit- My cousin might be dead now, I have no idea."
My tone seemed to unnerve him and I wasn't sure why. He took a step back and cleared his throat before looking past me and the two large vampire men standing there on guard.
"Like I said before. You all know the rules. We do not attack humans out in public, and when we feed we leave our victims alive. Gibson knew this as well, and for that he would have been punished severely. But it seems as though Lorelei has done that duty for me."
One of the men, the largest one, stepped forward.
"So what are you going to do to her as punishment for ending Gibson?"
"Nothing." Mikel answered.
"Nothing?! Are you mad? She killed him, Mikel. Something like that cannot just be swept under the rug. We might have rules and Gibson might have broken them, but you also stated that if ever a Hunter ends one of our own, then we would retaliate!"
Mikel clenched his jaw tightly, his bright eyes fixing on the man in front of him. Even if he was a great deal larger, more burly and stocky- He cowered under Mikel's gaze.
"You dare raise your voice to me, and question my motives?" Mikel said, his strong voice had returned, although still calm. "The last thing I need is one of my underlings spouting off laws that I was the one to create. I know very well that in normal situations if a Hunter ends one of ours, then we would retaliate. But under these circumstances Lorelei was protecting one of her own. A blood family member whom Gibson was trying to kill. Are you going to deny that she had the right to stop someone that was harming a family member?"
The man before him seemed to break, his head dropping and eyes falling to the floor.
"Good. Now please leave us. I would like to speak to the lady alone."
"But, Sir! She's an Amsel! A Hunter!"
"Yes. A Hunter that has no weapons and whos hands are bound. What harm do you think she can do to me?"
Neither of the men wanted to obey, but did anyhow and finally left the ballroom behind. Once the door was closed I waited for the inevitable. Sure, maybe he did say nothing was going to happen to me for killing their comrade- But I definitely wasn't stupid enough to fall for it. Vampires were liars, you couldn't trust them as far as you could throw them and the fact that I was standing in a room, tied up and defenseless, right in front of Mikel Van Buren himself only told me that I was going to be a tasty snack. The only thing I could do was wait... Stand there and wait to be eaten, torn apart, or whatever the hell he did to his victims.
But... Nothing happened. For several long minutes the only thing he did was stand there and stare at me. Enough so that it was making me even more on edge. I felt like a poor little rabbit getting ready to be scarfed down by some sort of wolf or wild cat-Helpless and trapped. He could snap my neck in two seconds and I would barely know what hit me.
Still silence... Was he waiting for me to speak? Because I honestly wasn't sure if I could form words. Eventually I got fed up with his penetrating eyes glaring at me and moved my own to the room around me.
I had no idea where I was. This place, this room- Had to have been held in what I could only describe was a mansion of sorts. Judging by the sheer size alone of just this one room, the building had to be massive. The floors were marble, as I figured they were once my elbows ever so gracefully smacked into them. White, with swirls of gold mixed through.
The walls were lined with large paintings, all seeming to be antique. Some depicting country scenes, others sophisticated looking men and women in period clothing. On either side of the room was two matching tables, with large crystal vases full of fresh flowers. Directly above the middle of the floor where I stood was an enormous chandelier, with an Italian fresco painting stretched across the ceiling. The chandelier lit up just enough to cast a golden glow about the room. Even though there wasn't much as far as furniture went in this ballroom, the elegance alone was enough to make me feel like some poor country bumpkin. And the vampire standing before me, although elegant in his own way, somehow clashed with the gaudy surroundings.
Finally I had enough of the silence, if he was going to kill me then he needed to just get it over with already so I didn't have to stand there anticipating the pain and gore.
"Alright. What are you going to do with me? Is this some kind of psychological torture, hm? Freak me out by standing there like a statue while I wait to die?"
He blinked a few times over before a smile tugged at the corner of his lips.
"I'm not going to kill you." He answered.
I squared my jaw at him.
"Then what the hell am I doing here?"
He moved a few steps closer.
"Under the circumstances, since it's starting to get late- And it would take nearly an hour to drive you back to Eldridge. I thought that possibly the best bet would be for you to simply stay here, until tomorrow morning when someone can drive you back."
"You're out of your mind if you think I'll stay here."
"I can assure you it's very comfortable, and you will..."
"No! No mind fucks with me." I interrupted. "If you're going to kill me do it. If you're going to let me go home, then do that! But I am not staying here any longer than I have to. So if you plan to let me go, then do it!"
He arched both brows at my raised voice, continuing to smirk.
"You have some temper."
"Well excuse me. But I tend to lose my temper when someone I care about is possibly killed."
Standing tall, he placed both hands behind his back.
"I apologize for the actions of my underling today. Normally they take heed of my orders, but I think you can admit that you extracted the perfect amount of revenge."
"Did I? Well that all depends, because if my cousin is dead then I think the two oafs who dragged me here deserve the same treatment, because they stood there and allowed Gibson to bite him."
He nodded at that.
"Alright. Let's strike a deal then, yes?" When I said nothing, he went on. "You stay here tonight because let's be honest, by now the authorities will have discovered the body you left in town. Which means there is going to be police crawling all over the area, not to mention curious vampires who want to observe. Taking the risk of driving you back to Eldridge just isn't worth it, love."
"And in return?" I asked.
"In return, I will personally see to it that my two guards will be punished for their actions."
Was this some kind of a joke? It had to be, mainly because it made absolutely no sense. There was no reason what so ever why Mikel Van Buren would have any interest in my welfare. After everything I had ever been taught about vampires, I knew they were vicious spiteful creatures that wouldn't hesitate to kill you if you wronged them somehow. They would even go as far as turning on their own kind for piddly insignificant things. If they were angry enough, no one stood a chance against them. No, this had to be something else. Maybe he thought he could get my guard down- What with asking me to stay here for my own "safety". Then after I was relaxed and calm, thinking I was going to get out of this alive then he would spring on me and tare my throat out.
Or maybe he had something worse in mind... Maybe he thought the better punishment for killing his friend would be to turn me? That thought was enough to make my heart skip a beat. I would rather die in the most agonizing way possible then be turned into one of them.
I might have sympathized on occasion for his kind, I might have felt that they deserved to live as much as the next person- But that didn't mean that I was eager to become one.
"So, do we have a deal?"
"Do I really have much of a choice? It's not like you're going to let me walk out of here."
"Well I would prefer if you didn't think of this situation as you being a prisoner. But you are right. I can't let you leave. At least, not tonight. So..." He stopped and move to behind me, I felt him tug at the binds on my wrists, hearing the plastic ties snap. "I'll just escort you to your room, you can get some much needed rest. And we'll talk more in the morning."
There was nothing I could say or do. I couldn't exactly pick a fight with this man. My weapons had been taken away from me and destroyed more then likely. The only thing I could do was follow him as he gracefully strode out of the ballroom, waiting for me at the door as I kept my pace slow behind him.
Outside the ballroom was a long dark hallway. Just as elegant and over the top as the room before lined with intricately carved stone colonnettes. It felt as if I had stepped back in time and was strolling about an ancient roman structure. Actually it was a mixture between greco roman, and gothic. Basically something that I had never seen first hand, only in photos. In between each colonnette and small archway was various pieces of artwork such as paintings, to statues and tapestries. For a far as the eye could see this house, or mansion, whatever you chose to call it- Was drenched in millions of dollars worth of splendor. For a moment I couldn't help but wonder just how he could afford so many luxuries.
As he walked ahead of me, his strides perfectly straight, I caught him take a glimpse at me from over his shoulder.
"Taken an interest in my artwork have you?" He asked.
Taken aback, my lips parted slightly but no words could come out, I didn't expect him to catch me gawking at his possessions like some sort of thief in the midst.
"Your home is very nice." Was the only thing I could croak out.
"Thank you." He slowed his pace, then stopped all together as he motioned around with his index finger. "This home was built by a very famous Italian architect in the eighteenth century. It's been in my family ever since."
I didn't bother to ask which one. It seemed to me he was overly eager to brag about his riches. Instead I grew silent, following him once again as he started to walk the hallway.
Before long we reached the end, which led to a large open foyer with a set of stairs leading to the second floor. Another massive chandelier hanged just underneath a glass domed ceiling providing a beautiful view of the night sky full of stars.
Along with the usual stuck up snob decor, there were a few people standing amongst the area quietly conversing with each other. Once they spotted me though they grew silent as one particular man took a step closer instantly eying me with what I could only describe as pure curiosity. It put my mind at ease slightly, at least I wasn't seeing hunger in his dark eyes.
Before we hit the stairs the man approached Mikel. He wasn't very tall. Probably not even reaching five foot seven, with dark hair. Past his pale skin I could tell that at a point in time, when he was actually human that is, that he had an olive complexion.
He leaned forward and whispered something quietly. From what I could hear, it was German- And he was asking who I was and what I was doing here. Mikel didn't answer right away, and after giving me a glance over his shoulder replied.
"Come to my room in an hour. We'll discuss it there."
The man took a step back, not questioning his Lord again and watched the both of us ascend the stairs.
I couldn't help but keep my eyes on the few vampires standing in the foyer, as they equally kept their gazes fixed on me. Needless to say that it was unnerving, being stuck in a building full of bloodsuckers, but I could only hope that no one would sneak into my room and bleed me dry while I was alone. That is, if Mikel didn't already have those plans in mind.
At the top of the stairs waited yet another long hallway, and when I noticed each and every window had been blacked out, preventing anyone from looking out, or in, my stomach dropped to my feet. Ever since my blindfold was removed I had been trying to find a way of figuring out just where in the hell this house was located. Whether it was in the city, or country, I had no idea.
He stopped at the first door on the left, which was tall and laced with gold leafing. He pushed it open and took a step back, holding out his arm in a way that said. "Please go".
Warily I walked past him, suddenly feeling very aware of the open areas of skin on my neck. I half way expected him to jump me as I entered that room and bite me.
Inside was a bedroom, naturally. It, just as everything I had seen so far, was ridiculously gaudy. The walls were a pale blue Venetian plaster with gold gilded molding. On the far right side of the room stood a floor to ceiling mirror, which was gleaming gold as well. The floor was nearly covered entirely by a faded Persian rug, and sitting atop it was a four post bed with a silk canopy. The bed covers were white and luxurious, covered in a multitude of inviting pillows. The one and only window in the room held creamy white taffeta drapes, which cascaded onto the floors almost like an elegant gown. In front of the bed was a marble fireplace, with an oil painting hanging above it. Scattered across the mantle was crystal nicknacks and a small golden clock that ticked silently as what looked like ballerinas spun in circles on the base.
A gray tufted armchair sat next to the window, and a dark stained wardrobe fit perfectly next to a set of built in bookshelves beside the bed.
This room was ridiculous. There was something very... Odd about it. I couldn't put my finger on why exactly, but- I felt like an idiot standing there gaping at it while Mikel kept his eyes burning on the back of my head.
"This room should be comfortable for tonight." He said. "I will say that if you wish to walk around the household you can, but I wouldn't try leaving. I have guards stationed at every exit."
He moved to the window, pushing aside the curtains revealing that just like the hallway, this window too had been blackened. But that isn't what disturbed me. It was seeing that along with the dark windows, there were cast iron bars there as well preventing anyone from getting out.
"And escaping through here isn't an option." He added.
"Such a pretty and elegant prison cell this is." I replied sarcastically.
Apparently I amused him, because he wouldn't stop smirking.
"It's far from a prison cell, Lorelei. I only take precautions when it comes to allowing strangers into my home. Not to mention that it keeps unruly vampires that hold a grudge against me from breaking in." He started for the door. "Have a good nights rest. I will arrange to have you driven back to Eldridge first thing in the morning." He paused before closing the door, keeping his eyes in the hallway as I noticed his back stiffen. "Good night."
I said nothing and only scowled as the door closed behind him and I was left alone.
There was a light knock at the door, and even though Mikel had ordered the man to visit him in his room- Now he was starting to regret it.
Now was not the time for questions, nor explanations. He needed to think, to plan. What happened that evening was completely unexpected and it had left his nerves rattled.
But the knocking persisted, once, twice, and then finally three times before he finally called out.
"Enter." He said, his voice unusually quiet.
The door creaked open slowly, as the man from the foyer peered inside. Instantly he spotted his friend standing at the only window in the house that hadn't been blackened out. Mikel's eyes appeared to be transfixed on the moon, which hovered there in the sky brightly.
"You asked to see me?" The man said.
"Actually, your curiosity brought you here tonight." Was Mikel's reply.
"Forgive me. I didn't want to intrude but I couldn't help but wonder just why you had brought a woman here, and not just any woman. A human."
Mikel leaned against the window frame, his arms crossed over his chest and a look about his face that couldn't be explained.
"It finally happened, Dominik." He said. "Finally after all these centuries of waiting, it happened."
Dominik entered the room, moving to stand beside him at the window.
"What's happened? What are you talking about?"
Mikel tried not to smile because he was hoping that this wasn't just a trick somehow. That his mind hadn't been playing tricks on him. If that were so the pain that would follow suit would have been unbearable.
"She's finally shown herself."
To anyone else that might have been eavesdropping on this conversation they would have no idea what Mikel was talking about. But Dominik was different- He instantly understood what such an insignificant message meant and the surprise was littered across his face.
"Are you certain?"
"Absolutely." Mikel rose his hand and placed it against his chest, just over his heart. "Somehow I can still feel it."
"And it's the girl? That human girl you brought here?"
He nodded in answer.
"Well... That's wonderful news!" He slapped his friend on the shoulder. "No wonder you wanted her to spend the night. Tell me, when are you going to perform the ceremony?"
"There isn't going to be a ceremony."
Dominik's smile faded.
"No ceremony? Why not? If she's the one..."
"It's not as easy as all that. For one, she obviously hasn't felt the same thing and another..." He paused, knowing the reaction he was going to receive. "She's an Amsel and tonight she killed Gibson."
Dominik's eyes fell to the floor, as he tried his best to hide the disgust.
"An Amsel? That's... Unfortunate."
"More than unfortunate, it's almost like fate is playing a cruel joke on me." He pushed away from the window, beginning to pace in front of the fire. "She killed Gibson tonight, right in front of Barnard and Clemmet. They brought her back here with every intention that I do something about her crime. They expected me to kill her. Truth be told, I probably would have had I not felt what I did when I saw her eyes."
Dominik had no choice but to sit down on the first piece of furniture near him, which was an old wooden trunk securely bolted shut with a cast iron padlock.
"Then that does pose a problem. Barnard and Clemmet would never accept a Hunter here, especially if it's an Amsel. What are you going to do?"
Leaning against the fireplace mantel now, Mikel's bright blue eyes seared into the dancing flames.
"Tomorrow morning I want you to drive her back to Eldridge. Under the circumstances I know I can't trust Barnard or Clemmet to do the job for me."
"So, you're just going to let her go? After waiting all these centuries to find her you're just letting her leave?"
"It's not as if I can walk straight up to her and make any demands. This is going to require a heavy amount of work. She's been born and raised to hate our kind, proof being tonight when she killed Gibson. If I expect anything to happen then I am going to have to get the girl to trust me." He shook his head, feeling the weight of a million pounds pressing against his shoulders. "I'll think of something."
Dominik stood, finally regaining his composure. This was the last thing he expected to hear that night.
"You said she's an Amsel. And she must be a skilled Hunter to take down Gibson. She didn't look very old, probably not even twenty five. Who are her parents?"
This was the part Mikel was dreading. Having to try his best and explain that the one he had been waiting for for so long a time was his daughter.
"Alexander." Was the only name he spoke.
Dominik swallowed a sudden lump in his throat.
"Fate certainly is playing a cruel joke on you, Mikel. How in the hell could it be his daughter? Why would it be?"
"No one knows what fate has in store for a person." He chuckled slightly, somehow. "But this just means that I'm going to have to work harder. I've waited centuries, and there's no way I'm going to ignore what's happened simply because her Father is Alexander Amsel."
"It's bad enough that she's an Amsel at all, but dammit- Alexander..."
"I don't want to hear anymore negative comments. I'm angry enough as it is."
"I'm sorry, Mikel. It just came as a shock is all."
He turned to him.
"How do you think I felt? Here I thought that I was only going to be dealing with a Hunter that killed one of ours, and then suddenly everything changed in a seconds time. But, I'll figure out something. I have to, I have no other choice."
Dominik started for the door, fearing that if he remained in Mikel's room any longer he might say something that would anger him.
"Well I hope you do. Really. I wish you luck." He opened the door and stepped into the hall, whispering quietly to himself. "You're going to need it."