The first thing Ariella Estefani Romanov noticed was the blinding light emanating from the unforgiving sun. She quickly dug through her Hermes bag and pulled out her Prada sunglasses both of which she grudgingly bought just before leaving for New York. Though Ariella had very good taste in fashion (which she accredits to her small close circle of friends,) she preferred the unknown brands which she claimed were just as good if not better than the outrageously expensive designer brands the local New York vampires adored. Or so she was told.

Ariella stepped through the automatic glass doors of JFK International airport and was greeted by Alex, her daytime bodyguard who was hired by her favourite vassal after insisting that she had to travel with at least one in 'foreign land.' Thinking back, Ariella remembered how every time her vassal referred New York as 'foreign land,' she would remind him that she was born locally and had also spent over 5 years of her childhood in her family's 5th avenue penthouse before her parents decided to steer her towards their home country, and hell broke loose. She shivered as she revisited the memories that occurred a few years after her small family of 3 left New York. She was led to her black limo which she rolled her eyes at and was introduced to her chauffeur Charles who looked to be about his mid-thirties with a mop of dirty blonde hair and slate grey eyes.

As they drove through the crowded streets, Ariella noticed a young girl, about five, trip over as she ran. Her mother immediately went to pick her up and started rocking her singing a calming tune comforting the wailing child. Ariella was hit with a sudden wave of homesickness as she couldn't help but remember that less than 7 years ago, she was like that wailing little girl; young and naive, and the little girl's mother love and care was exactly what Ariella's own mother had showed her. Ariella turned her head away from the window and cursed herself as she dried the tears that brimmed her eyes showing the weakness that she tried so hard to control. When she next looked out of her heavily tinted window, they had stopped outside the Plaza Hotel on Park Avenue and a bellboy hurried to open the door for her only to be stopped by Alex who opened the door instead. Putting on her poker face, Ariella stepped one foot, clad in a pink Miu Miu heel, out of the limo and looked up at the grand hotel where many of her father's important meetings were held. Stepping through the hotel lobby, she realised nothing much had changed during the years she was absent; the hotel still held the same royal grandeur that it was famous for.

Later on that day after her undead servants had unpacked her belongings into the luxury Edwardian Park suite, showered and settled in, her butler handed her a white envelope lined with gold. Aniela's eyes widened as she looked at the elegantly written address on the front.

"Miss Romanov, if there is nothing you want us to do; we will retire and let the evening staff serve you."

"First of all, you are to address me as Ariella or Ari."

"As you wish, Miss Ari." Her butler said with a bow.

Though Ari thought being addressed was too formal, she knew it was as good as it was going to get. After all, up until two weeks ago, when Ari had started planning her trip to New York, her butler was in cold storage for god knows how many years. He probably still thought Shakespeare was the best form of entertainment!

"If you don't mind sending this letter, that will be great, otherwise you may leave." Ariella replied quickly scribbling down a note, stuffing in a stamped envelope and handing it to him.

"Yes Miss Ari."

After her butler retreated and closed the door, Ari let out a sigh letting her previously perfect posture slump. Barely half a day in New York and she has already received an invitation. She knew it was rude to decline and besides, she was known for having impeccable manners which played a vital in her popularity amongst her business partners and peers and she certainly would like to keep it that way. The letter was a masquerade ball dinner party invitation from Baron Metzger whom she had a business partnership with. With his wealth as well status as a loyal vassal of Victor Todd, founder and CEO of HEMOglobe, she was certain that there would be some important faces present tomorrow night. Perhaps Victor Todd himself might be there, or Count De Laval or even Count Orlock, the grotesque yet very gentle and well mannered gentleman. The last time Ari had seen any of these three powerful vampires was the night before her family left New York at the dinner party held in the hotel that she was currently residing in. She was almost six then and she knew she had changed a lot; more than likely they would not recognise her and if rumours where correct, everyone outside of Ari's secretive personal circle thought that she had gone missing or maybe even died at the hands of Van Helsings. Ari had worked so hard to keep her identity secret so much so that even her closest business partners and employees had no idea who she really was. Luckily it was a masquerade ball meaning it was highly acceptable for her to not reveal her identity if they were her wishes. And believe me they were.

The vampire world not to mention the Van Helsings will have a field day if they knew Ariella, also known as Ari Savoy to almost everyone, was the long lost daughter of Amadora Romanov nee Amadora Savoia of the Bourbon and Savoia lines and Andrei Romanov. The Savoia, Bourbon and Romanov lines are all ancient both lines originating from the 13 great founders of the vampire race. Naturally, with old and pure bloodlines comes an enormous wealth and control over legions of undead both active and in cold storage. Ari had complete control of all that her parents had left her and though she was still very young and naive when started severing relationships with all who knew her, she knew that there were vampires, both Old Bloods and Newbies, wanting her control. To make matters worse, the restless Van Helsings are determined to make sure the last surviving descendent of the Savoia and Romanov lines is wiped out and this goal is fuelled by the painful fact that they had failed consistently at every attempt, albeit narrowly. Ari had luckily survived all the attacks, except the first she's witnessed.

A few years after settling in their new home, the small family had come back after a family day out, but upon arrival at their small yet homely abode, they were ambushed. Though Ari's parents had years of experience behind them, they were no match for the Van Helsing's vast numbers and countless arrows and flamethrowers. Her parents had sacrificed themselves to buy Ari enough time to save herself; but that alone was not what saved her. In fact, their sacrifice had almost been wasted as Ari stood rock solid rooted to the ground as she witnessed first hand the evils of the legendary vampire hunters thought to have been long gone. Her parents had screamed for her to go, but it was as if ear muffs were clamped to her ears, she couldn't hear, couldn't feel, and couldn't think, couldn't breathe; she could only see. Through her shock- induced haze, she vaguely remembered her parents telling her to be brave, loyal, vigilant and to carry on the Romanov and Savoia names with pride. Their sacrifice was a crystal clear demonstration of their love and loyalty, despite their hard exterior.

A piercing pain to her right thigh jolted Ari out of her reverie and saving her from further harm. She took on her parents order's and braved the pain of the arrow, by jerking it out of her thigh. The gapping hole closed in almost immediately, leaving a feint pink blotch to mark its existence. She looked around, seeing nothing but flames, foe and arrows. She ran towards the safe shed her parents had showed her for emergencies like these. Another arrow flew straight for her heart, Ari looked at the arrow, fear overwhelming all other emotions, wishing in her head for it to go back to the Van Helsings. To her utter surprise, the arrow slowed down just before her heart and did a swivel before heading back towards the direction it came from. Shocked and puzzled, Ari wasted no time and continued running thinking nobody had seen what had happened, but unfortunately for her, someone had. Christopher Van Helsing was amused, looks like this child is not just a useless spawn of the old bloods; she is actually unusually talented for so young an age. Powers didn't usually manifest until much later in a vampire's life, if she could control an object in motion, which mind you is very difficult even amongst fully gown vampires even for stationary objects, what else can she do? If she wasn't a bloodsucker, maybe he would have hired her someday; Van Helsing institute was in desperate need of new talent, since the witch Monture betrayed and abandoned the Institute.

It was in that fateful night that Ari first discovered her Beastmastery powers; she had been frightened and chilled to the bone with shock, guilt and anger, Ari tried not to look back at what was remaining of her cozy little home as she ran to hide. As she was just less than 5 meters away from the safe shed when a great vulture like bird appeared out of thin air and swooped towards her, Ari screamed and ducked. The grisly creature, with its beak dripping with fresh blood; vampire blood, would have taken Ari, if a beautiful and radiant golden phoenix had not appeared to challenge the dark beast. Ari got to her hiding place, worn out by her emotions and the exercise of the last 10 minutes, watched as the light and dark clashed. In an instant, Ari observed the battled as if she was the glorious phoenix who was fighting the beast. She was suddenly filled with a primal desire to destroy everything that caused her to become an orphan, everything that robbed her of her fair share of a family; loving or not. Seemingly, every thought Ari had in her mind, the phoenix obeyed and within minutes, the giant vulture had fallen. Ari had since adopted the phoenix as her pet, and named it 'Gloria' after its glorious debut while saving her life.

Though Ari had every aspect of vampire life stamped into her memory since she could talk, the seemingly faultless and young Ariella Romanov found it extraordinarily difficult to behave appropriately at her parents' totentanz and several times she came very close to slipping up in front of the scrutinizing public eye.

Nevertheless, Ari was no longer the delicate and fragile heiress of Andrei Romanov; she was a lethal vampire capable of controlling aspects of almost everything involving vampires. She smirked a little as she imagined the faces of those attending tomorrow's ball when they realise the legendary yet mysterious "Ari, aka Ella Savoy" is in their midst. Looks like her time in New York will be very interesting indeed.