Disclaimer: I do not own twilight or any of its characters, I just like to play with them to amuse myself.
I tried not to think about where I was being taken. Instead I followed quietly, looking at the floor, wondering if perhaps I could blend in with the scenery if I was quiet enough. I had been told often enough that I was very plain, and other girls were quick to point that fact out.
My dark hair was left natural, without highlights or a fancy cut. My brown eyes were dull and muddy in color, not attractive like some of the girls I had seen with blue, green or even a warm hazel. I was not busty or tall, but rather average and small, there would be no beauty contests won by me.
But this was not a beauty contest…this was a contest to see who lived or died, if that woman, Victoria spoke honestly. I saw no reason why she would lie. She had said that it was not always beauty but other things that drew the Prince to the offerings. I wondered how the selection worked.
Would he choose some and interview them, narrowing down the choices? What would his criteria be? I shook my head slightly, finally looking up only to notice that the man who led me by a chain was approaching a wide stairway manned by two stern, muscle bound looking men on either side. Their eyes were a discomforting shade of red, almost as if they were on fire, much unlike the man who led me, who had golden eyes, some-what like the woman who had assisted me. Each appeared to be wearing some sort of uniform, almost armor like, yet regal in its appearance.
As we approached the two men stepped into Jasper's way and stopped his progression.
"Where are you headed, Mr. Whitlock?" The man on the left asked bluntly.
"I would think my destination was obvious, Felix. This girl is an offering for the Prince. Now kindly if you and Demitri would step aside, I must enter the hall before the Prince so he is not left waiting!" Jasper continued his voice terse with determination.
"I don't think so, Jasper. The offerings have all been in the hall for about half an hour…why isn't this girl among them?" The other man asked.
"She was a late arrival, but she must be in the hall." Jasper explained hurriedly. It was clear he was losing patience with them.
"She smells amazing…mouth-watering. You could just leave her here with us. Surely there are enough offerings for the Prince to choose from?" The first man asked, looking at me with darkened eyes as he licked his lips. His actions made my blood run cold, making me think of the threat the woman, Victoria had made earlier, suggesting that she just give me to the guards. Before I could panic though, Jasper's rising tone intervened.
"The Prince will be very angry if he does not have the opportunity to select her from those offered…You surely do not wish to provoke the Dark Prince's ire on his coronation day, or do you?" Jasper said, his voice rising.
The two men looked at one another, and then they stepped back as if silently agreeing that to do so would not be wise. Jasper moved past them and then I followed, swallowing thickly as I noticed them staring intently at me as if they wanted to devour me. Perhaps everything that I had been told was true.
Keeping me head up now, I watched as we continued up the stairs and down a foyer. There were more people here. Men and women alike, dressed in fine ball gowns of silk and satin and suits tailored to a fine fit were chatting and watching as we moved past. I heard noises as I walked, growling and hissing and it caused me to move more quickly, moving closer to the man who led me, as if he could protect me.
Their eyes haunted me. Many were so dark in color, almost as if their eyes were made of onyx, while some seemed to burn red as fire hot embers. Others still seemed to be the strange golden, almost beryl-like color like Victoria's. None of them seemed normal to me.
Ahead of us I could hear music, and with each step it grew louder. Violins, flutes, cellos and even a piano were playing somewhere nearby. The melody was haunting, each note weaving a part in the tremulous cadence. I watched ahead as we passed a doorway and the walls opened up into a large hall. There were people everywhere. Around the outer edge of the hall there were tables and chairs set up. Men and woman sat at them as if they were in a fine dining restaurant, awaiting service.
The far side of the hall was raised, with a platform rising above the central floor. There was a single throne upon the highly decorated stage. It was beside this rostrum that a small orchestra played.
What shocked me most was not the opulence of the room, not the delicate looking stained glass windows that lined the walls. It was not even the elegance of the men and woman being seated at their tables. What shocked and terrified me were the hundreds of white, fabric clad girls that knelt on the floor ahead of me.
I gasped in alarm and gazed at them. Their hair and skin every color of the spectrum. These girls were offerings…just like me. Each and every one of them here against their will, and hoping that they were to be chosen. The math was simple, according to what I was told that meant hundreds would die. My eyes darted back towards the door, but the number of people there, as well as the number of men clad like the guards outside meant that escape was futile.
I turned back and looked over the numerous forms, hearing them as I got closer. I heard the sniffles, and the sobbing. The whispered prayers and requests for forgiveness. For a moment I thought of my father, the Police chief of a small town in Washington. He always talked to me about the realities of his job. Missing children and missing person reports crossed his desk daily, and he never believed that there were so many runaways. He knew there were sick people out there. Right now I realized he had no idea just how much he was right.
"Kneel!" Said a stern voice from in front of me. I looked and saw that the blond man, Jasper, had turned to me and he was commanding me to do the same as every other girl before me. I was not about to cause a scene here, less in concern for myself than for those girls ahead of me who were already upset and crying. I slowly lowered myself without a word.
I had barely settled myself on the ground when the music changed and those seated around the perimeter rose to their feet applauding excitedly. A look at the stage showed a handsome man with those odd amber eyes and pale blonde hair. Beside him stood a beautiful woman with caramel colored hair and eyes as unusual as his, perhaps that was one of the traits of this odd group of people? I noticed that her arm was tucked through his and every time he moved she moved with him. It was as if they were one.
She stared at him with pure adoration, and every now and again he would turn to look at her, or to stroke her cheek. The love between them was palpable, as if it were an actual presence in the room, and for a moment I felt calmed by the serenity they seemed to bear.
The couple stood proud and tall and arm in arm they made their way to the center of the stage and the slender man raised his hand and silence fell over the crowded room.
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I come before you on this remarkable day to thank you for your dedication during the numerous years of my reign. I thank you as well for coming tonight for the crowning of our son, Edward, as he takes his place on the throne in my stead, to serve as your Prince."
There was a thunderous roar from everyone who surrounded the room and once more applause broke out. It was deafening and many of the girls pressed their hands to their ears, but I refused to miss a single detail and I stayed still. The man on the stage smiled and raised his hand once more requesting silence, which followed immediately.
"Thousands of years ago, in the Garden of Eden, Eve and her husband Adam lived in the Garden of Eden. It was a place of richness and beauty, the very cradle of life itself, created by God's own hand. The garden was home to them, but also to God's creatures. In the garden their lived a snake, the wisest and most cunning serpent of all, and he wanted Eve for himself. Eve was tempted by the venomous snake to taste the forbidden fruit, for he hoped that if she tasted the fruit she would see him for his cunning and love him as he loved her."
"Tasting that fruit did open Eve's eyes, but rather than seeing the snake for his charms, she saw the world around her with questions and wanted to share this new experience with her husband, and ran to his side. Anyone who has read Genesis has heard what supposedly followed that incident. They were punished by God for doing what he forbade, and they were banished from the Garden and set forth onto the world, but we know there is more to the story." The man explained to an enraptured audience.
I knew the story he spoke of. It was the opening chapter of the Bible that explained the origins of life on the planet, not a belief shared by all, but I knew it, and I too, was listening with undisguised interest to what this enigmatic man had to say to the gathered crowd.
"The snake was cunning and intelligent, he wanted Eve to be his own woman, and he was angry at God for giving her to Adam. He wanted her to see his wisdom and so he convinced her to sample the fruit she had been forbidden to taste by her own creator. This did not turn out the way the snake had planned and so after Eve had been banished from the garden, the snake, who was banished as well for his part, searched for Eve until he found her once more."
"She had begot Adam two sons, Cain and Able and once more the snake wanted what was not his. He tried to tempt Eve again, but now her eyes had been opened, and she would not listen, fearful of angering her God. When she refused him, the snake became angry and attacked Eve, biting her, and injecting her with his venom. As the snake's venom took hold, Eve pled for God to help her, and he heard her prayers."
"He prevented the poison from killing her and sent her back to her husband, but the next child she conceived was affected by the snake's venom, and to protect Eve, God took it away, cleansing her mind of her memories. He took the child and saw it was not like those he had created, He did not want it anywhere near his creations and so he abandoned it near a nest of snakes, leaving it to die. The child did not die though…rather than die, as expected, the infant seized the first snake that slithered by and bit it, draining it of its blood and venom as it drank, making itself strong." He continued.
"This was the birth of the first dark Prince, the first Vampire. And as it has been since that time, the Prince, once he has reached a certain age will choose a female as an offering. He will choose a female that once he has coupled with her will give him the power he needs to become our new Dark Prince, and he will be the honor of our people!" He added to a deafening applause, punctuated with cries of the name, Edward.
Vampire! This had to be a joke. Vampires weren't real. They were made for books and movies…no different than fairies, ogres and unicorns. The story may have sounded interesting and be rooted into the beliefs that most people had regarding where people came from, but this just couldn't be real.
I cast my gaze around once more, hoping that with all the excitement the crowd was showing that there might be a chance for me to escape, but as I pulled to one side to look, I felt the collar pull and I realized I was attached to Jasper's hand by the chain he held. Surely he would notice if I tried to slip away?
I had no chance to try and leave without being seen, but was not sure if I cared any longer as this was getting more and more insane by the second. As I batted forth the idea, trying to weigh my common sense against the fear that filled me the crowd hushed and the voice from the stage boomed,
"Here he is…Your new Prince of Darkness, Edward Anthony Cullen!"
A/N- Um, hello everyone. I hope you're enjoying this story…I am not sure where the ideas for this story are coming from, but they just forced me to write them out. I hope there are not too many errors as I am doing this with no beta, though I have tried to check it over. Please feel free to write a review if you wouldn't mind…Thanks.