Prologue

Hi Guys. So sorry about the delay, this chapter has driven me mad. I wanted to get Selene's discovery of the Vampire-Lycan world over early, and my initial idea was to have a long discussion with Viktor about it, but it was just too long so I've been re-writing this chapter constantly, and in the end, I got sick of it. I just finished writing this, and when I finished it, my language was (please excuse my potty-mouth) "Fuck this; that will do!"

So after that, I hope you all enjoy!

XxX

Chapter Two

That Life is Over

I remain confused and afraid as this man leads me from my father's body and out of the stable. All the way I watch over my shoulder as my father's body slowly disappears into the darkness.

He leads me on, up into the distant dark forest. He is silent throughout, but his arm remains at my back, gently, yet strongly, guiding me along.

I loose track of time; looking up to the sky, I am shocked to see how pale it is. We continue to walk, but my fears being to dwindle as my confusion grows. Surely this man is taking me somewhere safe, his home perhaps, not into the middle of the forest.

"We shall arrive soon." He speaks as though he's reading my mind.

I shiver against the cold; I don't think I've been paying any attention to the cool night; the shock of discovering my family in such grotesque circumstances robbed all my senses and only now they've regained control.

I realise that his pace has quickened, and hearing a faint crunch of leaves behind us I think I know why. However a few moments later he stops and turns to look behind us.

"Where have you been?" He demands in a voice that reminds me of the local lords and barons. I look in the direction he is looking and cannot see anything, despite the rising light. Out of the darkness another man appears; he is much younger, with long dark hair tied back in the fashionable way, and like the man who saved me, his skin appears pale and sickly.

"Forgive me, my lord. It took a little longer than anticipated." The other man responds bowing slightly.

The man who saved me responds with a weak grunt of acceptance before turning back to me, replacing his hand on my back and continuing us on. Beforehand, I notice the other man look to me, watch me. It is a mixture of frustration, acceptance and something else I cannot truly define.

The three of us continue on, and I truly feel a sense of urgency in the men's speed and style of walking.

We reach an area of the forest where the ground becomes a mass of boulders, thick-trunked trees and an incredibly rough and uneven surface. We round an incredibly large boulder and in-front of us, the forest opens out and I can see the distant horizon and the warm pink and orange glow of the soon to rise sun. I glance at the younger man and notice him wince at the sight of the sunrise.

"How can you be disgusted by the sight of sunrise?" I ask him stopping in my tracks.

The younger man, as I speak to him, has his back to me and is pushing a large boulder, opening a dark tunnel. He turns to me, and I glimpse his eyes; they are the most clear and brightest blue eyes I have ever seen in my life. He glances to his master, then back to me. "Natural beauties have never delighted me; and recently I've taken to disliking the sun." He speaks simply. I hear a small throaty chuckle behind me.

He steps away and shows me the tunnel which I realise is being offered to me to step along. My confusion only growing at my current circumstances, I enter the tunnel, which almost immediately becomes alight with flaming torches along the wall. They reveal a smooth stone staircase leading to a door. I hear a crunch and the tunnel goes dark. Spinning on the spot I see that the large boulder has rolled back to its previous location, blocking the sun which by this stage has surely risen.

"Come." My saviour speaks to me. I turn around and follow him down the stairs.

He opens the door at the bottom of the steps and allows me in. Looking around I am in a stone chamber, with only one entrance way. It is now that I realise he is not taking me to his home.

"What are we doing here?" I ask with trepidation.

"This place is where myself and my kind come when the sun rises and we are unable to reach our home." He responds.

"Here?" I ask sceptically. The room is small, cold and damp, not to mention dark and airless. "And what do you mean 'your' kind?"

From where I have been standing I have had my back to him, and turning around, I see him seated at a small wooden table. The other man is drinking from a silver goblet away from him.

My saviour smiles at me, and then invites me to take a seat before him at the table with his hand. I accept his invitation, and the other man follows my suit, taking a seat at the far end.

"My kind, my people." He smiles and shrugs his shoulders weakly. "I am of a race of people that are made and rarely born. We live in the night, in the shadows, and some of the oldest and grandest manor houses known." He speaks like he a poet; the tone of his voice alters with each syllable.

"But what are you?" I ask, wholly confused by his response

He looks at me hard, and I feel as though I have interrupted something that I shouldn't have. But he smiles at me after a beat. Then, he restarts his story, and at length, tells me of people who are not human, not animal, but creatures far superior. I can only sit and listen, for without realising it I am sure, he answers all questions I have.

The other man sits and continues to drink from his goblet, his head down, occasionally fingering the ornate silver. He does not appear to be listening, probably because he knows it all, probably because he has heard it all before.

"You have not cried." I am taken aback by his change in topic, but quickly realise what he is referring too. "I would advise against it, those who did this to your family see it as their own strength."

But it is too late, my head has already fallen, my eyes are already wet. "My family has gone; my mother, my father." I pause thinking of my nieces. "My nieces." It is barely audible. I break down as I remember their appearance in death; how sickening someone or a group of people could be to butcher two five year old girls. They had so much more to give and offer this world.

"How can you expect me to sit here and feel nothing knowing that my life is over? How can you be so bold as to sit their and preach about how those who did this will take strength from my sadness, expecting me to be forever weak?" I can feel my voice waver as the sobs and the tears crack through my determination to hurt this man before me. I am certain I'm shouting, but he sits their, takes it, offers nothing more than a small smile.

I realise I am standing, and I stare at him, my lungs heaving with sobs and anger at this man.

After some minutes of silence he speaks. "Do you feel better?"

I am tempted to continue shouting at him, but there is something in his look that prevents me from uttering a sound. Instead I collapse back into the chair. "No." I say simply. Attacking him wont bring my family back. I know now that I will be feeling this pain for the rest of my life.

He stands and turns away from me, walks around the room to a small and rather empty bookshelf I had not noticed, and collects one of the few books, returning to the table and placing it before me.

"There are some fascinating people in this world. They can offer you strength, solace and will inspire you to strive for what you believe in and what is right. These people all came from similar beginnings as you. The man, who wrote this book, he unfortunately died some years ago, was someone like you, but who learnt that with the desire to avenge, you can forget that you can ask others for help." He retook his place at the table watching me.

I looked at the book; it was medium sized, hard bound and had a large stain at one corner. I feared what the stain was and looked away. He was still watching me. "I still don't know your name." I say plainly. I still cannot fully trust him.

He smiles at me, I notice out of the corner of my eye the other man. "Viktor. And if asking my name is because you don't trust me, why did you allow me to take you into this cave in the middle of the forest?" I sit silent, I cannot think of a retort.

"Viktor;" the name feels slightly alien on my tongue, more because I have been in his presence for hours and only now can speak properly with him. "You have shown me no reason why I should not trust you, but neither have you shown me a reason why I should." He looks to me; I can tell he is thinking.

"What happened to my family?" I ask suddenly. "That explanation is something that may probably change my level of trust for you for the better." He looks to me harder, then steps up and returns to that bench on a far wall.

"Your family this evening was murdered by a pack of Lycans which I have been hunting." He says. "You will remember that I told you earlier that Vampires and Lycans have long been enemies. Those that I have been tracking made to attack another household some miles before yours but I drove them off. Your family, I regret to say, was not so lucky." His voice softens, and I recognise an unspoken apology.

"Why did they attack us? We are not Vampires; we are just normal, ordinary people. Peasant farmers celebrating the future union of two families." I think of Ephraim and my heart stops. "Ephraim." Viktor and his servant look at me. "I'm never going to see him again am I?" I look at both men. The other man looks back to his goblet, with a heave of his shoulders, but Viktor matches my gaze.

"No my child. That life you once lived is over."

XxX

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