Why? Why had they done this to her?
She collapsed in a heap, unable to remain standing any longer, and buried her face in her hands as she attempted and failed to control her violent sobs. Tears flowed down her cheeks like non-slowing rivers, soaked up by her sleeves and running down her arms. Her shoulders shook as sobs ripped through her body.
She knew they had left. She could sense it, sense the room was empty except for her and her over-whelming grief. Of course they had left. They'd done what they wanted to and were long gone. Still, she forbade herself from crying any louder than her current soft keening. They didn't need to know how she was suffering, and the tears doubled as she remembered all over again.
They were gone. All of them. All of the people she had cared for. The only ones she could trust. All of them: gone. She'd never see their faces again.
It had been wrong to lock all her desperate sadness away for so long. She should have listened, should have used the knife while she still could have. Should have gotten rid of them then. How could she have held back? But it was too late now. It had passed, and there was nothing she could do about it. It was over.
They had destroyed her.
Half an hour later, she pulled herself together, her face set with resolve and determination. This wasn't over yet. Not. By. Far.
He took a single step towards her, anticipation and blood-lust buzzing in his veins like every other hunt. He couldn't wait for the sweet deliciousness of the girl's blood to sate his everlasting thirst...
The moment she sensed the movement, she whirled around and reflexively withdrew a long, thin knife from a hidden sheath. Only a simple steel dagger. What chance did it have? He suppressed a laugh at the useless weapon. It was no match against his immortal strength and experience.
The girl backed away as he continued to advance toward her, a naked fear in her eyes. She held the knife out at him, and he didn't even flinch.
Letting a low chuckle escape his throat, he leaned into her tempting scent, waiting for the right moment to strike. Maybe if he spoke, she'd have more a reactionhumans could be dreary oftentimes, and the hunt was the best part after the feast. "Now, now
Do you really think that measly blade can do anything to me
" he smirked. This mere human didn't have a chance.
He caught a flash of recognition in her eyes, and I smiled secretly. "Measly blade?" she echoed. "Xavier, I think you should know a blade as significant as this one in your history. Or does the true form help your memory? Laktnoz," she commanded, and the thin dagger transformed into a deadly, glistening sword. The weapon of bloody pasts. The weapon of
a vampire slayer. The vampire slayer.
A flood of shock rushed through his body. How!? How did this girl know his name? Was it
her? The one who she had left the sword to? The heiress?
"I must say," Xavier mused aloud. "That was quite the acting back there, Your Highness. Unless you were truly scared? Possibly
I resisted a shudder. I had only interacted with him for less than three minutes, yet he knew my identityor at least titleand emotions already. It was his possession of this information that made me vulnerable to him. If Xavier knew any more about me, he could reduce me with ease and I'd be at his mercy.
No wonder Xavier was the lord of all vampires. It wasn't only his regal and honored, pure bloodline, the Madoski, but his skill was legendary even when compared to the outstanding skill of the princess of the Pranton vampire slayer lineme. This was one of my very most difficult missions yet, and I'd barely begun.
I scrutinized my opponent's features. To expect perfection in all vampires, both any gender and age, had been pounded into my mind through rigorous training, but the lethal beauty of Xavier's features took my breath away. He was lithe and deadly, speed and strength superior to allall results of his pure vampire blood.
The minute picture of Xavier on my mission file did nothing but to give me a vague idea of what he looked like, just enough to identify him if I saw him. Everything was burned almost immediately, so the image I recalled was not very clear. In reality, however, he was a feast to the eyes, even in vampire standards. My will was succumbing to his intoxicating charmmust be part of his vampire powersand I struggled to focus on the task before me. My mission was to kill Xavier, a task proving harder by the second.
Xavier began to circle me, and I did my best to make sure my back never faced him. It would prove disastrous if that ever happened.
But it was futile.
I gasped involuntarily when he appeared soundlessly at my shoulder, right behind me. I'd forgotten to factor in his pureblood abilities to my defense. So, so foolish. That could've been the end of my life.
But I wasn't going down without a fight.
Swiftly, I plunged Laktnoz into his side, so fast the blade was a blurbut a sweep of wind, and he was gone, the sword stabbing air, him reappearing before me.
"You know," he hissed, his feline grace of a panther's. "I believed you really were a simple human at first, but the Princess? Never
" He slinked to my other side, and I twisted to face him again, my heart rate picking up as my adrenaline kicked in. A hint of a smile flickered across my face for a second before disappearing. It was about time those slayer instincts kicked in.
I dove at him in the middle of his last word with my weapon, eyes flicking to his feet as he dodged. This attack had been especially significant in past missions. Just before he steadied, in that single moment, my foot shot up to knock him off balance again. With a smirk, he regained his balance before I could take advantage of it, ruining my attack.
I cursed under my breath.
"You'll have to do a lot better than that," Xavier commented, almost taunting. "I'm not like the others you've killed
Show me what you've got, Princess."
An angry hiss escaped my clenched teeth. How dare he tease me? How dare he abuse my title? With a silent snarl baring my teeth, I struck again, this time almost landing the blow before he intercepted it and somehow sent the force back at me so my hand trembled.
Being deterred again and again only ignited a fire of anger. Xavier was my hardest assignment, by farall of the others I had killed by the first few days, but it had taken more than usual to track this one down and finally assault him. This irritated me, and irritation often made me more tactlessbut I was in control. Ever since my loss, I had made sure of that. I would never let anyone see me cry again. I would act instead of weep, and it was my duty to rid the world of something worse than filth, these vampires, Xavier.
This wasn't over yet.
I lunged one last time, feigning another offensive attack, then disappeared.
Confused, Xavier hesitated. I know he was wondering, where had I gone? And thenI was behind himready with my bladehe turned but not quite quick enough
"Impressive, but still not fast enough," he whispered into my ear. I froze. How had he possibly done that? I had been at my fastest, ever, but he'd dodged my blade as if it were nothing! I began to step back, ready to attack again, but realized I couldn't move my body. What had that vampire scum done!? Was it magick? It had to benothing else could enhance to such a condition as his, nothing could bind me without touching me. I'd never met a vampire, or anyone, that could use magick like this. Was this particular in the pureblood lord? I shivered, knowing I was moments away from death.
" he purred. "You amuse me, to say the least. I think I'll keep you."
"Bastard! Youyou'll neverhave me alive!" I gasped out.
"No, Princess. I'm your lord now." He stroked the underside of my chin, and I struggled furiously against my bindings. How dare he touch me! I glowered at him, and he mock-flinched back, chuckling softly. "That glare stings, Princess
Kind!? How could I possibly be kind to him? To vampires? They'd taken everything that meant anything to me beforemy family, my loved ones, my home. The lovely mansion I'd grown up with was ashy remains now. And now this wretched creature was going to take away the last important thing in my lifemy duty. I had to fight back! I had to!
"Grahh!" I screamed violently, and broke free of the invisible bindings, lashing out viciously. Xavier leaped back just in time to prevent getting his body cut open, an angry red mark appearing on the flawless skin of his chest, visible through a rip in his white shirt, which was becoming crimson with blood.
No one, mortal or immortal, had ever left a mark on him since he'd become Lord. His feral eyes gleamed silver as his lip curled in a silent snarl. "You shouldn't have done that, Princess."
"No!" I cried breathlessly as he immobilized me again, much stronger than last time. He stood behind me, his fingers trailing across my throat, and I shuddered. He bent toward me, skimming his fangs across my skin, and I closed my eyes in agony. He was going to bite me. I was about to become a vampire, something I'd rather die than have happen to me.
But he drew back. "Not many have the mind capacity to break free of my grasp no matter how much I'm holding back. You certainly are quite amazing. No wonder you're the princess, Alexis Pranton. Seventeen human years, yet you've done so much. Excellent
" My chest felt like it had been squeezed. He knew exactly who I was, my age, my name. "Yes, I know who you are, Your Highness, and I also know who killed your family." He let the words hang in the air as I stiffened.
My voice ripped through the heavy silence. "What?"
"I can help you, Princess
Just be mine."