I woke up screaming in bed. The feeling of the sun scorching my skin was imprinted on my mind forever.
It’s been a week since the incident at an abandoned farm on the outskirts of town. I don’t know what had happened after I’d past out from the excruciating pain, but the next time I’d opened my eyes, I’d been in a healing centre under constant surveillance. Turns out, I’d been out for two days, which for a vampire meant about as much as six months for any human. My flesh had healed relatively quickly, but the scars were now imprinted on my brain.
That had been the purpose behind my punishment all along, to tech me a lesson I’ll never forget. But this? What Damien did to me was nothing more than ‘just a warning’. It was just the tip of the iceberg compared to what he could actually do to me.
After all, no one dares oppose Damien Vandolff. And those who do, they’re simply wiped out of existence.
Now comes the question of what I might have done to deserve this. Well…I had the audacity to go against the vampire king and one of the biggest Aristocrat’s in his court.
I’m a well know lawyer in the vampire council and my disappearance from the public eye had caused quite an uproar, especially from those who’re supporting me against the Aristocrat, so I had to do an emergency press conference. And although my body had trembled, my mind not yet out of the trauma of what had been done to me, my voice had been steady when I’d announced that I won’t back down from this fight no matter who stood in my way.
Damien had been absent from any major event this past week, which wasn’t unusual since he preferred to stay away from media attention, but things had been eerily quiet over the past week. I still remember the day I’d decided to bring Neema to the media, bring forward his story. Damien had personally given me a warning call, and then things had been quiet for three months until I had been kidnapped and drugged on my way home from court before ultimately ending up in that abandoned farm house. I should’ve stopped when I’d received the call, but I hadn’t. I had filed an official case against the Aristocrat, which had led to the warehouse incident. But things had been quiet since. Which meant that either Damien was letting it slide, which had as much a possibility as pigs flying outside my window, or I was going to be dealt with permanently and made an example out of.
Rubbing my hands down my face, I got off my bed and made my way to the bathroom. I sprinkled some ice cold water on my face to remove the remnant of the nightmare that wasn’t a nightmare. It helped but not as much as I expected it would. I pulled my long blonde hair into a messy bun on top of my head and proceeded to brush my teeth and go about my morning business.
The frail, scared voice coming from outside my bedroom had me rushing out the door. “Neema? Are you hurt?” I pulled open the door to wide innocent blue eyes and a physique that looked like it might snap in half at the lightest touch. No child should’ve ever had to go through what Neema did. Never!
I took the trembling six year old into my arms and he wrapped his arms tightly around me. His pajamas hung loose on his shoulders and I’ve had to stitch those pants to half their size so it could fit him, but he was improving, getting better little by little every day.
When he had been first brought to me by one of the Aristocrat, Vandal Rudolf’s servants, who had snuck him out before their master returned home, the boy had been no more than a walking corpse, scared of even his own shadow. I’d given him my blood to heal most of the severe injuries, but he’d refused to eat or drink for days until he had to be hospitalized from malnourishment. I’d stood by him then, taking care of him until he’d trusted me enough to come stay with me. His current location was a secret that I intended to keep until he could live in a world that no longer saw him as a blood slave or lowly worker. Although the later was nearly impossible, I’d be damned if I let the former go unchanged.
“No.” He shook his head now, his curly blonde locks having grown enough that they flew around his face. “But you are.” Tears in those big blue eyes. “I’m sorry.”
“Oh, baby!” I hugged him tighter to my chest, unable to hide the moisture gathering in my eyes. “It’s not your fault. None of this is.”
I picked him up in my arms and took him to bed with me, where I laid him down and stroked his hair until he was able to fall back asleep. I then covered him with the blankets and left the room silently to get some coffee.
“Zoey?” I called out to my maid, a lovely seventeen year old human girl whose family has been in our family’s service for generations.
“Yes, madam?” She appeared in front of me holding my coffee cup and a wide grin on her face. Zoey was a good foot shorter than me, with light brown hair and hazel eyes that looked greener than brown. She also had a lovely face and a contagious smile. It was impossible not to smile at her as I took the cup from her hands.
“Thank you, Zoey.” I took a sip of the coffee, tasting a hint of the blood that she had put in it. It was a myth that vampires needed to constantly gouge on blood. A drop or two a day was sufficient for us, unless we were injured or under tremendous stress.
Zoey bowed and left for the kitchen as I made my way to the living room.
The covers of the living room windows were thrown back and a faint ray of early morning sunlight streamed through it to hit the floor. I walked over to the window and looked outside, the sunlight now a warm sensation on my skin, my daylight bracelet safely strapped to my wrist. It was a good thing that not all vampires had the right to a daylight bracelet or ring; otherwise the world would be an even horrendous place.
My daylight bracelet had also been put back on my wrist when I’d woken up in that hospital. I don’t know what games Damien was playing, but at this point I was prepared for anything.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to admire the gorgeous early morning view outside my window for too long. The shrill ring of my phone broke me out of my thoughts and I hurried over to receive the call before it woke Neema. The boy was a very light sleeper and I didn’t want to wake him up since he needs rest.
Half expecting to hear that cool, composed voice that was like a whip against delicate skin, I was surprised to hear a deeper, warmer voice greeting me on the other end of the phone.
“Yes?” I asked, thinking this was another new client, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“Trisha Redfern, it’s a pleasure to finally speak to you.” The warmth in that voice was a welcome change.
“Thank you. And you are?” I was starting to suspect this as a threat hidden behind honeyed words but the truth turned out to be anything but.
“You must have heard about me, I’m Lucas Donovan.”
A gasp left my mouth as my eyes widened in recognition. “Lucas Donovan? The Supreme werewolf Alpha?”
Werewolves were a vampire’s mortal enemy. The only reason that we weren’t in the midst of a constant bloodshed was because the werewolf population had dwindled considerably during the war that had come to decide the fate of the world. A war that was now known as the Wipeout. But that war had occurred two centuries ago, giving the wolves enough time to regroup. Rumors have it that they’re now stronger than ever and have increased considerably in numbers, but no one has ever seen them in the city yet. They tend to stick to the wilderness.
Lucas Donovan however, was a different story. He’d been the first one to show his face in front of us when he’d dragged a mangled vampire corpse through the city and thrown it in front of Damien’s castle with the threat that if anyone else ventures into the woods, they’d suffer the same fate. Damien had sent out a search party to bring out the wolves, but each member of that party had met with a similar fate. Damien had immediately dropped the search and after much debate against the nobles, had declared the woods a no-go zone and had set up patrol stations to oversee that his orders were being followed. I’d supported Damien in that fight and I knew he’d taken the correct decision to prevent any more bloodshed. The world was at peace now, had been so for the last two centuries. No one needed another Wipeout.
“Indeed.” Lucas said now, although I no longer felt the warmth that was in his voice.
“What do you want?” I gulped. A call from The Supreme Alpha, right after the punishment I’d received from Damien last week; this wasn’t a good sign at all.
“World peace. Equality. And maybe the extinction of all vampires?” his tone was light, but there was a dark undertone to his words, especially when he said extinction of all vampires. “I want what you want, Ms. Redfern, except maybe the last bit. But I have a better proposition for you.”
“What kind of proposition?” I fell back on the living room couch, my legs wobbly and my heart racing a thousand beats per minute. Contrary to what people believed, vampires have a heart and it beats the same amount of time as any human.
“I’ll help you protect the human child under your care… if you bring me Damien Vandolff.”