Story Type: Original/ Uber
Genre: Ancient/ Modern/ Alternative/ Drama
Copyright Disclaimer: Any relation the characters within the following story have to other people living, dead or fictional is purely coincidental. All characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
Description: Miki always attended the best parties and now she was determined that her workaholic friend would have the time of her life. Being ‘Plus one' to a party never ends well but for Rani, this night will not only change her future but bring to bear a past that was unheard of.
Content Warning: This story contains violence, blood and more blood.
A light sigh escaped soft lips as brown weary eyes slowly ascended to the solid oak door. Her left hand was gently resting on the telephone after finishing a tiresome phone call with one of her suppliers to unravel a tedious complication. Her dark brown hair was a mess after running her fingers through the curly locks to try and relieve the headache that had accumulated throughout the day. She was just about to put the final notes onto the report in front of her when she had heard that familiar sound.
There was only one person in her world, who would interrupt her, with a knock just like that one. She wasn't surprised to see hazel eyes sparkling in mischief as she plastered on a smile to greet her oldest friend, Miki. She was glad that Miki had decided to wear a decent black suit instead of her outrageous flamingo coloured blouse and rainbow coloured golf pants. She had been completely embarrassed to accompany Miki on that one day to brunch at an exclusive restaurant for the rich and famous.
“Darling, get your stuff, it's time to go.” called Miki eagerly like a child about to go to a toy store. Her short blonde hair, much to her late parents dislike, was styled to be spiky in a soft way. It enhanced her masculine image as a powerful banker even though she seldom went into her office. Her large hand was curved around the door as she peeked in on her only loyal best friend. “You remember, right?”
Brown eyes narrowed as she tried to remember what her friend was talking about. Her mind flittered meticulously through her mental calendar as she tried to figure out what she had obviously forgotten. Her eyes widened as Miki flashed a clue in front of her eyes from the door. She stared at the perfect white plain mask that obviously Miki was going to wear with her black attire.
“Good thing I stopped by with that look on your face.” commented Miki laughingly. She twirled the mask in her hand as she walked into the office to showcase her attire for the evening. The black and red cape swirled behind her as she dramatically bowed from the waist and smiled smugly. “So what do you think?”
A muffled laugh escaped her lips as she quickly placed her hand over her mouth at Miki's antics. Her bad mood from the phone call was slightly lifted as she watched her friend twirl around with the cape flapping about. It was quite refreshing to have Miki in her office since her presence always made everything surreal. It was at these moments that she cherished her friendship with Miki.
“So what will you be wearing tonight?” asked Miki as she did a once over with her hazel eyes. She placed her strong hands onto the wooden desk and leant over a little to get a better look. She wasn't surprised to see a plain black suit jacket, a white blouse and a black tight knee length skirt. Her eyes flickered up to meet panicked brown eyes. She smiled warmly as she calmly voiced, “Don't worry; I have your costume in the car.”
A little while later she was properly dressed in a lucrative and suggestive tight black dress that hugged her body like a second skin. It was strapless and flowed down to mid-thigh. She had a thin black see through shawl that kept the chill of the night slightly away. Coupled with the slightest touch of makeup, she didn't look like a person who just got off from work. She looked ready for the most sophisticated party she could only get invited to attend by being a plus one.
She stood idly by next to the expensive black Porsche 911 that Miki owned. She had seldom ridden in this car as it drew too much attention to her and she knew her normal work clothes would have made her look mediocre next to Miki. It was also because Miki also owned a few other sports cars as well and hadn't driven this one in a while.
Brown eyes flicked over the top of the car as she watched Miki hand over her keys to the eager male porter who was utterly failing at hiding his excitement. She could see her friend's lips moving rapidly as she handed the porter a large tip to make sure that her car was taken care of. It was a small price to pay to make sure that the porter didn't abuse the trust that Miki was giving him. It also helped that the porter's manager was nearby as well and had given the porter a few stares of warning.
She glided up the carpeted stairs to the open front door with Miki walking casually by her side. It was obvious to all watching them there was no relationship besides friendship between them. Miki had calmly glanced at any onlookers and merely brushed them from her mind. It was clear that Miki was someone of great importance even if she was a female in a tuxedo. Everyone seemed to know who she was and that just made everyone stare that much more at the plus one that she had brought along.
“This will never get any easier,” she sighed to Miki. Her small purse and shawl were swiftly removed at the door where a kind male servant carefully put it away. She had been surprised that the host had thought of this beforehand since she hated to carry around her belongings while trying to make sure no one would steal it from her or she wouldn't lose it. She wondered who and where the host was since Miki had only given her the type, time and date of the party. “So what do you have in mind? Are you going to mingle or grab a small bite?” she asked whisperingly to Miki's alert ears.
Miki smiled widely as she looked around at the many party goers who were dressed as different characters from movies to plays. She was slightly impressed by the display of colour, but knew among these people it was only for this occasion. Her hazel eyes scoured the large foyer and wondered where the host was. It was quite unusual for the host to not be at the door welcoming them all in.
Brown eyes were glued to Miki as she waited for her to finish her searching. It was clear that the host had yet to arrive into the foyer to greet all of the gathered guests so far. She wondered if anyone had been able to enter yet and her answer appeared before her at the end of the foyer. She could see that there were servants standing patiently in front of the large white doors and had yet to permit anyone from entering. Their smiles were bright and welcoming even though some of the guests were getting tired from waiting in the foyer.
Her slender hand slowly patted the stomach of her dress as she smoothed out the wrinkles that had formed from her moving about. Her hair had been tied up carefully into a bun by her assistant who had done an excellent job at taming her brown curly hair. A few tendrils of her fringe were loose to soften her appearance as Miki had directed her to do so. It was a rare thing for Miki to give advice about how she should look. She wondered if there was more to this party than Miki was telling her. She had never attended a masquerade before and wished she knew what was to be expected.
A black and white feathered mask adorned her face that only covered the area around her eyes. She wouldn't have been able to recognize Miki if it hadn't been for her knowing what she was going to wear. A pure white mask covered her entire face with its plainness. It was a little ironic as well considering Miki was not plain or pure.
“The hostess has yet to arrive. However, a bite to eat sounds like a good plan before I start mingling with the other guests.” replied Miki as she wore her mask on top of her head since the party had yet to start. Her hazel eyes continued to zoom about as if she were looking for something she had lost without appearing to be searching for it. “I wonder why it is suddenly delayed. This has never happened before. We usually enter the foyer, get greeted and in we go.”
“How many of these functions have you attended?” she asked cautiously as she was slightly frightened at what the answer would be. She hoped it had been a fair few times to relieve some of the anxiety that was creeping up her nerves since this was the first time she had been to one of these. The last time was a normal formal dinner at a restaurant that was booked out for the entire evening because of the number of people who had attended. “Please say more than two.” She whispered under her breath as she waited for an answer.
“I've been to every single one that has been hosted and I've known about it. So I can't really count on my digits how many parties there were. Not that I remember how many there were anyways. So it is safe to say that I know how this is supposed to work even though the type of party is different each time.” explained Miki quietly as her hazel eyes continued to look about.
“They are different each time?” she puzzled as she raised her eyebrow at Miki with little effect. She could see the slight smile creeping onto Miki's face at her attempt of expressing her confusion considering the mask hid most of it. She wasn't use to wearing things that covered her face since she mostly expressed herself through facial expressions or hand gestures. “What do you mean?”
Miki smiled slyly as she glanced over towards her friend. “Let's just say that the last party was called ‘Cocktail Hour' and there was plenty of alcohol going around to make everyone relax. It was the most unusual party that I had been to with interesting results.” she replied without wiping the smirk off her face which indicated something did happen and seemed to be in her favour. Slowly she pulled her plain mask on as her hazel eyes lighted up towards the barred doors. “And here it will begin again.” she whispered with a muffled voice due to her mask.
Brown eyes were confused as to Miki's change in demeanour. She was sure her friend had been sly and playful, but now there was an aura of business about her. She wondered what had consumed her friend's thoughts. However, her concentration was captured by the opening of double doors and the quietening of the crowd that had gathered in the foyer. She would have loved to have been taller. She would have been able to see what was going on and it seemed like something significant since it captured everyone's attention.
A voice, powerful and clear, commanding and calm, filled the entire foyer as if it were the purest notes off a harp. The feminine musical notes glided to all ears and caused quiet excitement to brew among its listeners. The lowest tones brought smiles to many who had gathered even though most were masked.
Brown eyes glanced around the room to see everyone entranced. Even she was mesmerised by the voice that held so much freedom and yet a control that caused a small chill to run up her spine. She found the feminine voice to be tickling all of her senses and she wondered who this person could be. She wanted to match a face to that voice, but she was thwarted several times. She tried to stand on tippy toes and tried to look between people. However, every effort and solution that she found was marred by more problems. After a little while, she gave up. The foyer was too crowded and only the tall would be able to see the owner of the voice, which included Miki.
Her shoulders were slightly slumped in defeat as all she could enjoy of the speaker was her voice. She wondered what this person would look like. From the voice, she imagined an exquisitely striking tall female who was broad shouldered and had a masculine aura. She pictured this woman to have bright blue eyes and dark features. However, she still couldn't see if the image in her head was true or not.
“Welcome all to my humble home, I see many have returned to enjoy the festivities planned for this night. I also see many new faces as well and hope this night will enlighten all to the pleasures I am offering. Now let's get this party started for it will be a long joyous night.” greeted the voice that addressed all who were waiting in the foyer.
Her brown eyes began to perk up as she saw that the crowd was moving to the large double doors. She was herded along, since there were many behind her who were eager to enter and finally begin their evening of fun. She was excited and her curiosity would be fulfilled once she passed by the hostess. She would see what this person looked like.
The double doors loomed closer as the crowd of guests excitedly moved forward. Smiles and small chatter filled the air as the people at the front entered and disappeared beyond. The same alluring voice welcomed her guests with enthusiasm as they passed her by. She could hear her closer and closer. However, she missed her chance as Miki hurriedly guided her into the next room without even a glance of the hostess. She had been forced to concentrate on her balance as Miki ushered her over to the side of the room where some of the crowd had gathered.
“Where's the fire? What's the rush?” she asked perplexed at Miki's seemingly anxious body gestures. Brown concerned eyes watched carefully as Miki looked around and around before sighing audibly with slumped shoulders. “Is there something that I should know about?”
Miki began to relax and turned to face her friend before slowly sliding up her mask so that she could speak clearly. However, she stopped in her tracks when she felt that familiar presence as if it were a physical beacon. She turned to the table instead and collected a plate. Her fingers shakily picking up food and her mind too preoccupied to notice how concerned her friend was getting over her behaviour.
“Tch, tch, tch…” The feminine voice from earlier in the foyer lingered in the air. The warning tones were maginfied by her stunning presence as she glided gracefully toward Miki. “You know the rules of the masquerade. You're not allowed to remove your mask once you've passed those doors.” she said drawlingly as she was in reach to glide her hand down Miki's back.
Brown eyes watched in wonder as this beautiful creature with blonde hair and bright green eyes was seductively making Miki nervous. She had never seen her friend like this nor had she seen anyone able to command such an overwhelming presence that made a few guests shy away as if they wanted to be invisible. She was riveted to the spot as she watched Miki shakily picking up titbits onto her half filled plate.
She would have normally watched her friend get out of any situation. However, at this moment, she felt her body step forward at its own voilition. Her body marched forward as she reached out her hand and placed it onto the beautiful blonde's shoulder. She heard the gasp that echoed around the now silent room. She pulled on the shoulder to spin the woman around and faced her. They were the same height so she couldn't really intimidate the blonde or compete with her frightening aura, but she was determined.
“Leave her alone!” she whispered in warning as if her words were as slick as a snake and could strike out at any moment. Her grip was gentle and her aura was dismissable, but the determination she held within her flew to the surface as she faced this person. She didn't care that this woman might have been the hostess of the masquerade. She just knew that her behaviour toward her friend was not excusable. “A light warning would have been sufficient.”
“And whom may you be?” she asked lightly as if she didn't have a care in the world. She had removed her hand away from Miki and was staring at this person who had dared to touch her. She was well aware that all of the guests were glued to the scene they were causing. She was Angelique d'Angouleme, Kiku of the flesh, the hostess of the masquerade and no one dared to challenge her in any way until now.
“My name is Rani and you are?” asked Rani pompously as if nothing could touch her. She felt so free and powerful as she stared into those green eyes. She heard the second round of gasps and knew it was probably because of the tone of her voice toward the hostess. However, she didn't care. She was being fueled by the rush of adrenaline that had flooded her body at the challenge of overcoming her inert self.
Anglique's green eyes widened as she stared at Rani and was frozen where she was. Could it be? Is it possible? Her thoughts were running rampant as she stared into brown eyes. I would have known, wouldn't I? She lost her overwhelming aura in a blink of an eye as she slowly raised her hand and caressed Rani's cheek.
Rani was confused. She could see those green eyes gentling as soon as she had mentioned her name. She saw how several guests were whispering excitedly as if whatever wisdom she had somehow bestowed to them from the mention of her name was going to be gossip for many weeks to come. She stood there and watched as those gentle fingers trailed from her cheek to her neck. She wondered what had overcome the hostess.
Suddenly, she felt her head being tipped to the side voilently as lips and teeth sunk into her neck. She was shocked as pain lanced through her body. She didn't know what to think. She stood there as the blonde was biting her neck. Her eyes were blurring as she stared over at Miki who was being held back by several people. She felt her arms become weights and then her eyelids were closing. She was falling.
Angelique held onto Rani as she lifted her face away from Rani's neck. Blood marred her lips and her green eyes were aglow as she opened them and viewed the quiet room. She felt invigorated by the new blood that now coursed through her veins. She was amazed by the sweetness and memories that were stored within Rani. However, it was all meaningless. She didn't want the woman in front of her that she held gently in her arms. She wanted the woman who Rani had once been. She hoped she was right.
Miki strained to get herself free. Even though she was one of them, she couldn't overpower the two that were holding her. Both men were easily restraining her from coming to the aid of her friend. She hadn't wanted this. She just wanted to show Rani a good time and knew that all guests would be respected whether they were human or not. She felt sickened as she stared at her pale friend who was held limply in Angelique's arms.
Bloody tears streamed down the sides of her face as she looked at her friend who was on the brink of death. She could hear acutely the skipping beats of Rani's heart. She continued to try and get free. Desperation fuelled her limbs to break out of the two other vampire's hold on her. She could still save Rani's life if she were quick enough to get her a blood tranfusion. It was all that was needed to save her life.
“LET ME GO!!!” snarled Miki as she yanked one arm free. The two vampires were surprised by her surge in strength and couldn't contain her any longer. She yanked her other arm free as her hands turned into sharp claws ready to strike out at Angelique. She leaped toward her with her hands poised to attack and free Rani. She would get both of them out of there and damn the consequences of her actions. They had crossed a line and she would not look back.
Suddenly, immeasurable pain lanced through her chest as someone's foot collided heavily onto Miki. She fell backwards with a crash as she landed on the table full of food. Her attacker had not relented and was about to crush her skull in, but a warning tone eminated throughout the room.
“STOP!!!” yelled Angelique as she stared at Rasheed who was one of her most loyal body guards. Her voice was powerful and held everyone in a tight grip. No one could move and that was her whole intention. She didn't want anything to go out of hand when this was meant to be a party. She could already see several humans who were looking frightenedly at their respective human or non-human partners. It was clear that this scene was not a normal day occurance. “Take her to a holding cell and clean up this mess.” she said whisperingly as she gestured to Miki and the other people around her. She scanned the crowd of guests and was already pleased that some of her people were already spreading out. “Continue with the party.”
“What about her?” Rasheed asked enquiringly as his bright brown eyes lingered hungrily on Rani's frail body. His sullen cheeks and pale complexion made him look very eerie. Even with his jet black hair and dry cleaned tuxedo added to his mysterious persona. He unconsciously licked his lips as his eyes stopped at Rani's neck. “What do you want us to do with her?”
“I will see to her.” Antoinette bellowed desperately from across the room as she rushed over from one of the hastily opened doors. Her reddish brown hair flowed graciously to the middle of her back in gentle waves. She reached out her hand gently to caress Rani and retrieved her from Angelique. “You bit her.” she commented lightly as she carefully placed her hand over the drizzling wound. “She is very weak.” she sighed audibly in relief as she turned and carried Rani from the room and its spectators.
Angelique stood there as she stared at Rani's pale face. It just couldn't be, but her blood. They tasted the same. It was the same. She has returned. Tears of happiness and sadness filled her eyes. They were not bloody like Miki's tears and she knew her human side had momentarily returned just for this moment. It was how she always was around her, Rani of the Far North.
Year 340 B.C.
Angelique smiled bashfully at the bright sunset across the far waters. She could feel the tinge of a sweet blush working its way up her face. Her heart was fluttering uncontrollable as she tried to sit still in anticipation. Butterflies fluttered through her stomach as she glanced to the side where the person she had spent most of her days with for the past moon sat there. She was utterly in love and there was not a soul that could forbid her in this day and age from doing so.
Her heart skipped a beat as those eyes glanced at her with a sexual smile that melted her soul. She would become a puddle any moment now and she wouldn't be ashamed about any of it. Even if this act alone was frowned upon, she would enjoy it to her heart's content. She felt those lips move in swiftly and all she could do was stay as still as possible as she felt the strange sensation upon her lips for the first time.
It was very brief, but the effects were catastrophic. She felt all warm and giddy as she sat there. People were trying their hardest to look elsewhere or mind their own business. There were also some that grunted in disgust or frowned at them. However, she didn't care. Her heart had been stolen from the first time their eyes clashed. She had been spellbound and became alienated from her friends.
All of this is because of her… Rani…
It was approaching midnight and all of the guests had been forced to forget the earlier events of the evening so they could enjoy the masquerade. Her heart was still strained as her thoughts kept drifting back to that girl. She could barely keep her mind on one conversation and had to excuse herself more than once. She knew that Antoinette would surely keep her safe, but she was still worried. Did I take too much blood? I was so lost in the sensation that I couldn't hold myself back. Hopefully, I haven't done something that I will regret. I hope it is truly her.
“Angelique, did you float off to your little world again?” asked Liana for the second time that night. She was worried for her friend and confidante who had been acting strange ever since that girl confronted Angelique. She wondered what troubled the ancient one's thoughts to allow her to be distracted this much. They had been friends for many centuries and this was so out of character for her. She knew that Angelique could follow several conversations at the one time and so she was really worried. “Maybe you should retire early and let Rasheed handle the rest of the evening. I'm sure it's better than letting Melinda take the reins after the last incident.” she said whisperingly so that those acute ears of the others could not even hear her. She didn't want Melinda repeating her last incident which involved a massacre of all of the humans.
Angelique shook her head and smiled cheekily. She hadn't really meant to let her thoughts wander off, but it was clear that she was troubled. If her close friend could see that she was acting strange, then everyone else would have already picked up on it as well. “I will retire then. Please see to it that nothing happens.” she warned gently as she nodded to her friend and walked out without a backwards glance.
Her thoughts once again drifted to the girl being taken care of by Antoinette. She could probably go and see them, but she wondered what sort of reception she would get. She knew Antoinette was angry with her. She understood the quiet politeness that Antoinette showed to the guests and the others. It was a cover to hide her outrage because she wasn't patient enough. She could have easily used any other method to ascertain whether Rani of the Far North had returned. However, she now regretted her actions even if they were involuntary. She had let her instincts take control and she wondered what sort of damage she had done. It could possibly ruin what they had before.
Unknowingly, she stopped in front of the cell that held Miki. She could see the upset and anger that was directed at her. She could smell this one distinctly being one of Liana's creations. It would be a shame if she had to dispose of someone who had been very loyal to them even for one so young. She could understand how Miki was feeling right at this moment.
“What are you going to do with her?” asked Miki as she huddled angrily in the corner of the cell. She didn't dare to touch the bars which were drenched in Hell's liquid of life. It was a non-lethal substance that would cause unimaginable burning sensations to boil their blood and would last for several weeks for a newly turned.
Angelique lifted her hand and delicately held onto the bars of Miki's cage. Burning flesh could be smelt, but no pain marred her features. She was totally nonchalant to the damage she was causing to herself. However, she pulled the cell door open and stood there with her hand still sizzling. “Tell me child, why did you try to attack me to protect a human?” she asked expressionlessly.
“She is my friend.” replied Miki in a clipped tone. She could easily attack her, yet it would do nothing since Angelique was an ancient. She was the only one left after the last war of their kind. She had heard the stories since she was not even born when the events occurred. “Would you not want to protect your friends?” she asked as she tried to turn the question back on Angelique.
“You know nothing about protecting friends. If you really wanted to protect her, you should not have brought her here. I know you were going to turn her this night. Liana has always consulted me when we bring a new one among us. It has always been the way.” lectured Angelique angrily as she slowly stepped into the cell and amplified her powerful presence by getting closer. She knew Miki could feel the pressure of being in the presence of an ancient. All of their kind were very sensitive to an ancient and could tell right away that she was a dangerous being. Most of the young ones always steered clear of her in case they were to face her wrath. “You have been graced with our gift and yet you still want to try and defy me for your friend's sake. You are a sympathetic one to constantly watch over her.”
“Wouldn't you be too? You saw her didn't you?” asked Miki seething as she tried to reign her anger in and watch her every move. If she let her instincts take over, she would die. There was no question about it since she could feel the power that Angelique wielded without a care in the world. She wondered if there was anyone that could rival her. She had learnt in her short time of being turned that even Liana wasn't as strong as Angelique. She watched that lean body move toward her, but knew she shouldn't flinch away. If Angelique was there to deliver her death, then she could only accept it.
Angelique stood directly over Miki with a stern look in her eyes. She could see that Miki was preparing for the worst. It was what most of the youngsters did when they were in her presence. She had revelled in the power and knowledge that she had compared to the others. However, her being the only ancient left meant that she was very lonely. She had not talked to anyone about the many things that she used to talk about. It was just too old for the others to understand and Liana had showed many puzzled expressions whenever she tried to broach such a topic. So she had stopped and now she kept everyone at a distance. It was not a voluntary choice to begin with, but it was the way things were now.
Her green eyes slowly lost their sternness and she sighed audibly. A small laugh slipped from her lips at Miki's humorously confused look. However, she didn't waste any more time than she already had. “If you show true loyalty to me, you will come with me. ” she whispered enticingly without the notion that she had an ulterior motive. She didn't wait and quickly turned on her heel to the door that was left wide open. She usually had guards, but they had already been dismissed. She didn't need them within her own home. However, Rasheed had insisted quite passionately.
She cleared the doors without a backward glance. There was no need for her to look back and check since she could hear Miki. Every breath and the slight scrape of rubber against the tiled floor could be heard. She could pinpoint every single movement with the feel of the slight air currents. She was the most sensitive of their kind that existed. She had honed her many skills so that she could remain alive and she had been for a long while.
She walked along the long corridor and up a few sets of stairs. There were twists and turns that she took without thinking about it. It was so ingrained into her mind since the first time that she had been brought here. The one person that tied them all together and was still doing so without knowing it was currently with Antoinette. This was where she was headed. Also she wanted to see for herself that she hadn't inflicted any lasting damage.
“Where are we going?” asked Miki hesitantly after a while. She had a very good memory because of the special blood that was gifted to her from Liana. Her speed and strength had increased as well. She had been amazed by the changes and there had been many myths that were squashed from her knowledge about the mythical creatures that their kind were. “Why did you ask me to follow you?”
Angelique ignored the questions. They were right outside the doors to Antoinette's chambers. It was quite clear that Miki couldn't hear through these specific doors, but they had been made this way. It was the only way for their kind to have privacy from one another. There were just too many young ones who thought they could eavesdrop and have some leverage over the older and more powerful of their kind. She had seen many colonies of their kind dwindle because the newly turned would try to overthrow their masters. It wasn't that simple. Only she knew the key to becoming the master of the one that created them. It was the sole reason why she was alive and still able to allow so many to be turned.
She raised her hand and gently placed her palm on the door. A slight push made the door creak open and she didn't need to explain anything. Her heart which had been dormant for a long time thudded a few beats as she looked into the room. Her green sparkling eyes were widened in alarm and she could do nothing. She could feel Miki by her side who was as stunned as she was.
Green eyes were staring at blue eyes that were sparkling as if they were the bright morning sky. Dark long hair was flowing freely down to her waist as she stood there with her grip around Antoinette's body. Her mouth was pressed firmly to her pale neck and it was clear that she was drinking her fill. Antoinette was slowly mouthing pleas of help and this made Angelique finally act.
Angelique rushed into the room and grabbed Rani by her face which forced her to let Antoinette go. She quickly grabbed Antoinette by her arm and flung her into Miki's arms. Her verdant eyes were pinned to blue and she could see the mythical creature that lurked beneath the surface. This person who she was holding by the face was no longer Rani the human. This was the beast that was inside all of their kind and made them who they were.
She felt claws scrape against her forearm, but she ignored the blood and pain. She had to think of something to try and get Rani to gain control. There had to be some way in which she could force Rani to make that decision. It was quite clear to her that Rani was still inside somewhere and just needed some coaxing to come out. She didn't care which Rani it was. All that mattered was that the beast needed to be tamed or more lives would be at risk.
“Stop this Rani. I know you can still hear me. ” she growled out between clenched teeth. She could feel the strain of holding Rani in the air and ignoring the thrashing that Rani was trying to inflict on her. She was determined to make sure that she could fix this. She could smell the changes and knew it had been her bite that had triggered all of this. She had woken up the beast that had lain dormant within the human. “I want you to fight this. I know you are strong enough.”
Suddenly, Liana appeared with Rasheed right behind her. They burst into the room and only had a few seconds to take everything in. However, their untimely appearance had distracted Angelique for just that second. The two had to be quick to catch Angelique who had been kicked toward them.
Green eyes looked around at the now empty space where Rani had been. She was gone and it was not the typical escape out the window routine. This was an instantaneous disappearance as if Rani's body evaporated into thin air. It was alarming and at the same time amazing. She had never seen any of their kind be able to do something like that and she had seen a few strange abilities spring up before.
“She's gone!” commented Liana in surprise.
Angelique quickly got up and rushed over to Antoinette. She looked very pale and had lost a lot of blood. She could see that Rani had been taking her time to have her fill, but they had been in time to stop Rani from taking too much. She quickly licked the wounds and watched carefully as it healed over. She hastily bit into her wrist and shoved the bleeding wound into Antoinette's mouth before they could all protest. Her earlier wounds had already healed over and she hadn't been hurt badly either.
As soon as she felt Antoinette try to push her arm away, she knew that enough blood had been given. It was a feeble push, but it was enough to know that she would make it through this ordeal. She would have sighed in relief and rejoiced that Antoinette was alright, however, Rani was on her mind. She needed to figure out where Rani, the Madame of the Storm Riders, had disappeared to.
“Where do you think she went? I can't find any trace of her.” explained Rasheed frustratingly as he snooped around the entire chambers. He had rushed from one room and into another with his nose pointed in every direction. It was clear that his sense of smell was his main skill. “It is like she disappeared, but that is not possible. One of ours can be faster than the eye can follow and yet we can't vanish like she did. This is impossible.”
“We can't match her power or skills. We will have to find another way.” commented Liana as she helped Antoinette to her bed. The gentle caresses and lingering touches were being observed by the others. However, it was true that their relationship to each other was more than just being kindred. She looked deeply into troubled deep brown eyes and could see the conflict in them. Antoinette was mentally beating herself up. A lingering hand caressed her cheek and soft words of comfort left her lips. “It is alright. It's not your fault. We will get her back.”
“What will we do? The party is still underway under Melinda's supervision.” commented Rasheed as he looked toward Angelique. He was startled to see the alarm light up in her eyes once more. He felt it in his gut that he had once again made a lapse in judgement. “She was the only one around. There was no one else nearby.”
Angelique hastily turned on her heel and fled from the room. She needed to get back to the party as soon as possible. There was no telling what Melinda would do to the party and the irreversible consequences to her actions that could occur. Her feet were light and fast. She felt that Miki was following her closely and she was letting her keep up. She could have rushed on ahead, but there was a chance that she might need help. There were a few newborn Melinda fanatics within their kind that Miki could handle.
Drip, drip, drip... blood dripping to the ground was the only sound within the vast expanse.
The room was drenched in fear. Various humans were huddled in a corner with a few of their kind standing up to defend against those that wanted to harm them. Fangs were bared at each other as if they were all just mindless beasts. The room was in complete silence as everyone was frozen in place. No one could move as they were all numb at watching what was happening in the centre of the room. Underneath the grand candelabra were two women. One of them was standing there, although it was clear she was actually being held up by the other woman. The other woman, everyone recognised as the person who had stood up to Angelique.
Green eyes stared around the room in alarm. Her sights first landed on the humans who were for the most part alright although a little frightened. She could see that her most trusted personnel were standing guard while those that were loyal to Melinda were poised to take a human guest as dinner. Her heart hammered within her chest as she stared at the centre of the room. She wouldn't have believed what she was seeing had she not have mentally slapped herself.
She walked slowly into the room and made sure that Miki stayed where she was. She knew Miki was still too young to handle the others that were in the room. Her presence was felt, but all were totally transfixed upon the two women. She glided in as non-threateningly as she could. She didn't want the blue eyed woman to disappear again. There was still time to make her realize who and what she was. She could see those hollow eyes that were unaware of what its body was doing. She could see the animal instinct within had taken control and someone had to cage that internal beast. It was her chance to redeem herself after losing her own self-control earlier.
"Rani, please put her down." she gently whispered in such a caressing voice that everyone felt deeply empathetic to Angelique. They could all hear the sadness and the plea within her voice. It was what she wanted them to hear. This person in front of her was more important than anything within her world. She would give up everything that she had gained to get back the person she knew ages ago when she was first reborn with the gift bestowed upon her by the person she loved. "Please let her go."
Her emerald eyes saw the slight confusion within the depths of blue and knew she was slowly coming to herself. She kept walking forward at a gentle pace as not to scare Rani away. She needed to be careful and she knew Melinda's life hanged in the balance. Even if she wanted to kill Melinda herself, she knew Rani would not be able to handle the kill yet. Rani was still confused and there was so much that she hadn't remembered. It was going to take some time for her to reclaim all that she knew, but at this very moment, this act would not do her any good.
She smiled gently as Rani gradually removed Melinda away from her lips. Green eyes could see the blood that stained her chin and she would have licked her lips had it not been for her tight control on her instincts. Anything that seemed unnatural would break the spell that she was slowly weaving to allow Rani to calm down. She was only halfway to Rani and had only managed to get Rani to retrieve her fangs from Melinda's bleeding neck. She made sure that she didn't quicken her pace as it would cause Rani some alarm and anything could ensue. It could also cause Rani to disappear again.
"Rani," called Angelique as she was within two steps of Rani. Her green eyes were shining brilliantly as she tried to keep up her effort and not lose her. She reached out with her arms and waited patiently as Rani dropped Melinda to the ground like a rag doll. She smiled even more as Rani stepped forward and her arms began to encircle her. She closed her arms around that familiar body and could feel the tears once more pooling around the rims of her eyes. It was pure bliss at being able to hold the one person who had changed her world and loved her more than life.
Suddenly, Angelique let out a slight gasp. She felt the sharp pain of fangs entering her neck and knew what Rani had done. Her tears, clear salty droplets, slid slowly down her pale cheeks. She held on still knowing that Rani was feeding upon her blood. She could feel the shock that emanated around the room. No one had ever been allowed to taste her blood or even touch her. They only saw that this woman who had been a human guest was allowed such special treatment. No one knew why or what was going through Angelique's mind.
Angelique gently stroked Rani's back. She remembered doing this often whenever Rani had needed to feed and she had been the only one around. It was true that their kind relied on blood to survive, but Rani was special. She knew what sort of scene she was creating, but didn't care about the consequences. She could easily repair all the damages since she was an ancient. It was also equally true that an ancient's blood was toxic to a newborn. So the fact that Rani was feeding upon her was puzzling for all present who had felt the deep sadness and longing within her voice.
Her strokes were getting weaker as she tried to stay conscious. Rani had taken a lot of blood and it seemed as though she hadn't been satiated just yet. Her arms were feeling weaker and slowly became numb. She couldn't stand anymore and knew Rani was fully supporting her. She wondered how much more Rani was going to take. She wished Rani would remember her old self. She wished with all of her might that Rani would not regret this night as her vision became blurry. Her tears had long halted as she didn't have any more fluid within her to produce them. Her once vibrant green eyes were clouded over and glazed. If this is the end of me, I'm glad that I was able to see her one more time.
Suddenly, Rani blinked rapidly as if to clear her vision. She could feel the warm sweet taste within her mouth and knew she was feeding. Her arms were strong as she gently held onto the blonde beauty within her arms. She felt her mind trying to establish some sort of sense about where she was and what she was doing. She felt renewed as if she had been reborn, but that was confusing. She had always been alive, hadn't she?
Slowly she withdrew her fangs from her victim. She could see a room filled with various people. Some of them felt familiar like an old fragrance that only one of her kind would sense and categorise that individual as one of them. There were also frightened humans and this was a little puzzling as some of her kind were poised to defend them. She lifted her victim away from her face to take in the entirety of the room. It looked as though it had been some kind of party.
Blue eyes slowly looked down at her victim and then did she realise who she had been feeding upon. Tears welled up within her eyes, but they would do her no good as she gently laid the blonde beauty upon the floor. She hastily made a gash upon her wrist and pried open Angelique's mouth. However, worry marred her features as Angelique remained unresponsive. She even painted Angelique's lips with her blood and yet nothing happened. She shakily pulled Angelique into her lap and wondered how it was possible for her to be in such a situation. Her heart ached at seeing her beloved so pale and still.
Rani felt someone rushing toward her. She knew they were going to attack her and so she lifted her blue eyes to meet whoever it was before she let out a warning snarl. Whoever it was scrambled back so fast as if it were a wounded animal fleeing from its predator. She didn't have any time to see the surprised faces. Her only concern was lying in her lap. She quickly pierced her tongue on the tip of one of her fangs and bent over. Her lips gently massaged Angelique's unresponsive lips before she delved her bleeding appendage deep inside. She forced Angelique to swallow the hot liquid of life that was so potent it could burn a newborn of their kind. She continued to massage the inside of Angelique's mouth until she felt the slight stirring response which lifted a heavy weight off her heart. A teary smile plastered her face as she felt Angelique finally wake up and begin to feed in earnest upon her blood.
Rani gently pulled away. She felt her tongue heal instantly and knew she would see sparkling green eyes looking upon her. "Hello, my sweet!" she uttered so caressingly that Angelique almost cried out in joy. She carefully lifted Angelique into her arms and stood up. Her eyes surveyed the room once more and this time she felt the stark difference. Some were afraid of her which was understandable while others were awed. She didn't know what was going on, but she felt she had accomplished something miraculous.
"I think Melinda won't be like she used to be." commented Angelique gently as she glanced down at the brunette who was tentatively holding her neck and looking fearfully up at both of them. She smiled so sweetly that Melinda looked like she was going to soil herself. "You are truly amazing!" she whispered into Rani's ear, knowing her lover had no idea about what she was talking about.
"I believe the whimpering one will sort out this mess and we can retire to our room." Rani whispered seductively as she walked to the door. She looked powerful as she walked out of the doors and out of the tension filled room. She could still feel a pair of hazel eyes that were upon her and negligently turned around. "I believe you will come with us. You look like you need to be informed as much as I. " she said caressingly as she gently invited Miki to follow them.
Alexander the Great was stirring up the land. He was gathering followers to conquer the world. He was ambitious and strong; however he had one obstacle in his way that he had not foreseen. There was one land in which no one dared enter unless they wanted to face their own death. It was the legend that was heard in many stories about a warrior who survived on blood alone and would savagely meet any battle just for the taste of victory. He wanted to either conquer this mystified land or recruit the warrior that was told in the legends. He had heard a few gruesome tales, but tales had to come from somewhere. Someone must have survived to tell it to others or it wouldn't have been a legend. He also had his doubts about whether this legend was true or not as well.
"There must be a kernel of truth within this myth," commented Alexander to his band of advisors and generals. They were all dressed for war as he was since they were on the outskirts of what was known as the cursed land of death. The morale of the troops had already fallen significantly since rumours had spread out that they were going to conquer this land. There was a city near the coast that was the heart of this legend and he was going to place it under his rule. "There might just be an army of cunning tactics or a group of mercenaries protecting their home. There is no need to be concerned about the stories of this place. We have conquered all of the other lands and this is the last one. We will have full dominion over the entire world once we get them to vow their loyalty to me." His voice was deep and commanding as if he were speaking to all of his soldiers and not just the ones in front of him. He knew there would be eavesdroppers and this might help to boost their morale.
One of Alexander's advisors spoke in his deep gruff voice. He was the eldest one among them and knew this might be his last city that he would see. He already had a foreboding feeling about this place and was very weary of the stories that sprouted from the locals who obviously lived in fear. It had been a little unnerving to meet locals who were actually happy to see them as if they wanted the lesser of the two evils. "I believe we should be cautious on this endeavour. There is so much that we don't know about them. The locals' only talk about one warrior who is the one told in the legends. Please don't try to recklessly conquer this city like the last one. We have already lost many men and I doubt how many would follow you loyally when you most need them." cautioned the old advisor. He smiled as the others nodded in agreement. He was also lucky Alexander didn't have his head for being so frank. He doubted there was any other advisor who could speak to Alexander like the way he just did just then.
Alexander began to pace back and forth. He understood how most of his warriors were only following him for the glory and out of fear. There were few who were loyal to him for being him. They all wanted something from him. He was just lucky that most of the people standing in front of him right now were actually loyal. They were his friends except for the advisors. Only two of them were friends who would gladly wield a sword for him even though they were not warriors. The old advisor was an exception since he had stuck by him since the first city that he conquered. The advisor had been from that city and had pledged his loyalty so that his people were spared. Then over the span of many cities falling to his rule, they now had the utmost respect for each other.
“An observation that I am aware of and I understand it is vastly important here. We've scoured most of the world and this is the last city that we need to conquer. It is only one more city to place under my rule before we can sail home to enjoy the fruits of our labour. We will succeed here and no legend will scare the mighty warriors of Alexander the Great.” said Alexander inspiringly as he waved his arms out wide to emphasize his kingdom before clenching his fist and resting them on his hips. He smiled broadly at the grins that were reflected back at him and knew everyone just wanted to go home.
Angelique smiled widely as she raced through the crowded streets of the small town. She laughed vibrantly as she glanced behind her to see where her assailant was. Her glowing green orbs were scouring everywhere behind her as she raced ahead to their predetermined destination. She gleefully patted herself on the back for outrunning her assailant since she couldn't see a trace of them. She assumed the crowd of people were just too much for the three young men to give chase.
Suddenly, Angelique felt like she had run into a brick wall and was flung backwards. However, she was saved from embarrassment as her brick wall held onto her and kept her balance. Verdant eyes looked up and met ocean blue liquid orbs. She smiled shyly up and slowly stepped back as she knew she had just slammed into trouble.
“What trouble have you been causing now?” asked the brick wall in a smooth velvety voice.
Angelique giggled nervously. She slowly lowered her eyes to her feet and couldn't meet the blue eyes that saw right through her. She knew she shouldn't have ridiculed those three young men into thinking that she was an easy target and then causing a huge scene to make everyone see them as fools. Her last prank had been lighter and she had gotten away with it. However, this time she had gone a little too far and removed all of their belts to showcase the little dignity that they had.
“It wasn't really bad.” uttered Angelique softly in a hesitant voice. She could feel those eyes burning holes into the top of her head. She would have run away if she thought she could, but the brick wall she had run into was the one person who knew every little detail about her. “I only got these three young men to stop their antics on all of the young maidens in the main fairway. They even tried to coerce me crudely to join them. I just thought I should teach them a little lesson.”
Rani sighed breathily. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Keep me!” replied Angelique hopefully.
Rani laughed heartily at her response. She gently lifted Angelique's chin so that their eyes could meet. She smiled lovingly as she moved closer and planted a gentle kiss upon those soft lips. “My sweet, please be careful. You never know who you will insult and you might not be able to protect yourself. There are many out there and if I'm not with you, they will try to target you just because I gave you my gift. So please next time to also tell me where you are going.” She pleaded caressingly.
Angelique smiled gently and nodded her head. She had snuck away to the market and knew the risk she had taken to do a bit of shopping on her own. She had even increased her risk by becoming part of a spectacle. She should have been more careful and weary about the dangers of the others out there that posed her as a possible advantage against Rani.
“We should head home. I believe our time here is up. I feel we might be getting a few guests soon. Our unique family is stirring in a familiar way and I can already taste blood on my lips.” informed Rani dully as if her mind were far away. She quickly shook her head from side to side to clear her thoughts and bring her back to where she was at that moment. Her slight smile managed to clear a little of Angelique's worry. “Don't fret, we are going to go home the express way.” she said in a calm voice that further soothed Angelique's worries.
“What's the express way?” asked Angelique, curiously.
Angelique was only given a brief smile before her world turned upside down. She had barely anytime to orientate herself before Rani gently held her hand and somehow they were back at the mansion that Rani had built. She didn't even have time to take a breath. It was as if she only blinked once and she was home. Her mind couldn't understand how they had traversed a very long distance to be back so quickly.
She didn't have time to think as Rani walked off to the waiting entourage of their kind. Her green eyes only looked longingly at the one person who offered her a world of longevity and beauty with the only cost of living off other people's blood. She had been sickened by the manner in which Rani had shown her of how they procured their meals, but it was a necessity. She had learned to be cautious of her need for blood because of the addictive taste that made all of their kind spellbound by it. However, she was unique.
She stayed in the foyer until Rani and her group of loyal friends and warriors were gone before she headed toward the stairs. There was little that was required of her in this place since she was what they considered a newborn. She only had to make sure that Rani remained happy and that was what the others thought of her as. She didn't really care about what the others thought, however she knew one day she would probably be replaced by someone else who was more beautiful and unique. She hoped that day didn't come soon.
Angelique walked all the way up to her chambers which she shared with Rani. Well, it was really Rani's chambers and she had yet to decide which rooms she would want to have as her own chambers. The main room was very spacious and held various paintings that Rani had somehow procured from different places in the world. It was really a place to impress all those that happened to enter Rani's chambers. However, the bedroom was cosier. It had limited furnishings and was more a place for Rani to retreat to. She had yet to go in there since Rani was always busy.
She had heard many things within the mansion. Her acute sense of hearing as a human had been enhanced further once Rani had given her the gift. Her ears were so sensitive to the slightest sound that she could hear footsteps made from a person walking at the front of the mansion. She had to adjust to everything and today had been the first time she was able to leave the mansion without fear of growing crazy. She had loved it and wanted to venture more of the outside world. However, there was much unrest within the mansion. Her hearing had picked up that there was a man who would soon be upon them and would probably challenge them with an enormous army.
There had also been rumours that the locals were telling lies to the leaders of the enormous army. These stories were always farfetched as they all described a single warrior feasting on the blood of their victims. The people were putting up such an act that more rumours were spread about the army being disjointed from their mission. However, it was clear that soon the stories would be proven true or false.
Angelique stood in front of the mansion entrance with a few others of their kind. All of them wore servant clothes and so did she. Green eyes looked at the armoured warriors who would try to divert the enormous army away from their lands. Most of them didn't want the leader learning their secrets. It would most likely put an end to their existence or be the beginnings of a terrible nightmare.
Angelique had waited and watched as Rani scrambled around the mansion for a few hours. It looked as though Rani had been very busy while she had adjusted to her new senses. She wondered how this could all turn out the way it was. She had never imagined Rani putting on armour and drawing her blade on another person unless it was absolutely necessary. This seemed as though it would put them all on the map rather than keeping their existence in the dark. She wished she could have changed all of their minds, but it was for naught. She was a newborn and treated as though she didn't know the world at all.
Her stubbornness had not gone unnoticed as she tried to have a chance to talk to Rani. She would go to great lengths to be in the same room to be able to speak, but they would be interrupted. Some of the others had also knowingly intercepted her before she could reach Rani and they would treat her with such disrespect. She was almost like the common whore from the street. Everyone treated her as such and always told her to go and wait in Rani's chambers. However, she wasn't what everyone thought she was.
“We'll be back soon, hopefully.” called out Rani to everyone waiting outside. She smiled at each individual face before her blue eyes rested on green. She could see the longing in those eyes and knew it would be a while before she could clean up everyone's opinions about Angelique's status. She sighed quietly to herself as one of her friends cleared his throat. She could only turn to her horse and hoisted herself up before the others got more restless. “We'll bring some souvenirs back.”
Angelique could only hold her tongue as she watched those blue eyes turn away from her. She could not understand why Rani had been ignoring her so much when before she was turned, she was Rani's entire world. It seemed really odd as if Rani were scared about something. She wished she could sit Rani down to get some answers from her. However, she stood there and watched as Rani rode away with her entourage of warriors.
“Time for all of us to prepare for the worst.” announced Georgia gravely. She looked around at her fellow friends and could see the nods of agreements that came her way. Her eyes then finally rested onto Angelique. Most of them had avoided the blonde haired, green eyed beauty. Even she tried to avoid her on occasion. She wondered why Rani had even brought her to the mansion in the first place. “Let's go inside and sort some things out.”
“Do you need me to do anything?” asked Angelique as she stared into brown old eyes. She had heard the woman's statements and knew none of it had included her. She was a little miffed, but considered it was due to her being a newborn. She wondered what the others thought about her sharing blood with Rani. She knew that most of the people within the mansion weren't privileged to sample some of Rani's sweet blood. “I can work really hard without complaints.” she added eagerly to see if Georgia would at least try to include her into their preparations of whatever they thought was going to happen.
“Just stay out of our way. We know what to do and how to do it sufficiently. I suggest you go upstairs and pack your belongings.” said Georgia sternly as if she were talking to a delinquent. She sighed voluminously before entering the mansion with the others that were already busy going about with their duties.
Angelique was left standing there; disappointment was written all over her face. Was she really that different from the others that they thought she couldn't do anything for them? She could only sigh to herself and walk back up to Rani's chambers to pack her meagre belongings. She hadn't brought much with her since Rani had promised her everything. She wished she didn't have to be stuck here with these people which she was now a part of.
It wasn't long before she had all of her things gathered. She could see that there were many people still inside, who were busy, were still doing whatever they were doing. She made sure to carry all of her belongings out to the main doors to the mansion and was careful not to get into anyone's way. She could still hear Georgia giving instructions to some of the people in the kitchen. It was a little unnerving since Georgia 's hot temper could be felt even though the kitchen was located on the other side of the mansion. She shuddered at the thought of what it would be like if she had been subjected to that.
Her green eyes were scampering about watching various people either rushing from one door to another or they were carrying something. It was clear that everyone knew what they were doing. She wished someone would give her some sort of insight as to what was happening. No one had said anything besides what to do and how to do it. She was just about to seek out Georgia when the woman showed up beside her from nowhere it seemed.
“Take your stuff and go home.” instructed Georgia carefully. She swiftly grabbed Angelique's delicate hand and placed a bag of coins into her palm. Her brown eyes stared deeply into green to force the youngster to go home. “This is no place for you and Rani has made a terrible mistake. You will be in danger if you stay here. Go home and forget about everything that Rani has shown you.”
Angelique was taken aback by Georgia 's caring manner. She had never seen the woman like this ever. She was so confused that she didn't notice that she was back on the outskirts of her home town. She only got to look at Georgia one more time before she disappeared in a blink of an eye. She looked around and around, but there was no trace of a mansion or the people that were in it. She found her meagre belongings and hoisted it onto her shoulder. She had no intention of going back home. She was going to search for Rani. She was one of them.
She walked for hours from day to night. The sunset and the sunrise were breathtaking every time she got to see them. She smiled at the scenery which were sometimes lush and peaceful or the complete opposite which was grey and barren. However, she didn't mind since she had procured a sun tan and even developed some good skills at tracking.
Angelique had been surprised to find tracks that were in great number. It looked as though a herd of horseman and people with carts had come through. She could only think of one thing and who these tracks belonged to. It would be the great army in which Rani must have gone to stop. She smiled in joy at finding another way to get back into Rani's world. It would be easy to find Rani now.
Her pace was fierce as the hope of being with Rani grew exuberantly within her. She was floating on high as she felt that the tracks were getting fresher as she went. She didn't even take in her scenery as all that was important was following these tracks to lead her to Rani. She hadn't realized how fast she was going or why the tracks were so fresh that it was as if they were made a moment ago and she had only just missed the owner. She felt like she hadn't been walking for that long either and it was then that she stopped herself to think.
Green eyes stared at the fresh tracks before she felt the danger that she had placed herself in from her carelessness. She looked around and noticed that there were several individuals who were walking away in the distance. They wore armour and looked as though they were the rear guard to one of the last carriages that had passed where she was. She could feel eyes upon her and knew she had made a huge error in following the tracks blindly.
Slowly her shouldered bag slipped from her fingers to land in a pile of wet mud. The slosh of feet could be heard as though it were the roar of a hundred carriages. She would have coward before whatever had its sights on her, but she had to be brave. She would only become more of a victim if she acted like one. She felt several eyes now that were watching her and only one of them were approaching in a carefree manner. It was as if they had no fears about her or the fact that she was travelling alone.
She stared at the man who looked old enough to be her father. He had greying hairs on his roughly shaven face and wore an intimidating steel helmet. It looked as though he was the leader of this group that were tailing the army. His brown eyes were as cold as steel as he fingered the hilt of his blade. Her eyes did drop to his uniform where she saw an insignia on his upper left chest armour. It was the insignia of Alexandria the Conqueror. She had heard rumours about him and his army which left little imagination to what these men might do to her.
“Good afternoon Sir, I am a traveller looking for a town that is nearby. Do you know if there is one?” asked Angelique sweetly. She could see that he was a little unstable at her kind words and unfearful manner. She beautifully batted her eyes up to the warm sun and held up her arm to shield her from its glare. She sighed tiredly before returning her eyes onto the man before her who looked undecided as to what to think of her. “I've been a long way and it seems I might have been going around in circles for some time.”
“I'm sorry to ruin what is left of your day, but you will come with us. Resist and we will have no choice but to kill you.” He said gravely in a high squeaky voice that so didn't match his appearance. She was almost about to laugh at him had she not processed what he said first. He half drew his sword out in warning as he gestured to the end of the army's rear. “The choice is yours.”
She couldn't see any way out of it since she was virtually surrounded by the other concealed warriors. It looked as though they were mostly scouts to protect the rear guard from being ambushed. She could see how effective they were since the rear guard were pretty relaxed as they kept on moving without a backwards glance. Also she didn't want to laugh at him in case he was offended and decided to use her as a practise pole with his blade. So she made sure he didn't need to speak and picked up her bag. She walked in the direction that he gestured and knew that running away would probably get her a knife in the back.
She could feel him silently walking behind her. It was understandable since his voice sounded like he was a whimpering girl and she would have given in to her laughter. The rear guard were also now aware that they had picked up an extra and gave way to the both of them as they passed the slow paced warriors. There were many whistles and leering comments made her way, but she ignored them all. She couldn't really defend herself amongst a crowd of men who looked as though they were savages, but were only held back because of the uniform they wore. They acted more like a group of adolescences pretending to be knights while trying to earn respect from each other by trying to woo her.
The two of them walked ahead toward the front of the army. It was expected for the leader to be there which was in this case supposed to be Alexander. Immediately she spotted the acting leader and knew it was not him. Rumours had it that he was still very young and quite handsome, but this person was old and very noble looking. He looked like a real knight compared to the group of warriors at the rear of the army.
“What is this?” grunted the old man as he sat high on his horse as if the world lay bare at his feet. He looked down upon her and could see that she was either cared for by someone or lived nearby. He assumed all of this from her appearance since she was well dressed and looked quite healthy. He could also see that she must have only started her journey quite recently with the slight sunburnt skin across the top of her nose. “This better have a good reason.”
“We found her trailing us.” squeaked the man behind his fierce helmet.
Angelique smirked at the pitch of his voice. She would have double over in laughter, but she was being carefully scrutinized and she didn't like it one bit. Her green eyes carefully swept those that she had captured the attention of from her mere presence. It was quite overwhelming, but she held her head high and didn't let fear overcome her. There was plenty of time later for her to sort out her feelings once she found her way out of this predicament.
She looked up at the old man and could see that he was mulling over what to do with her. She saw how he had already quickly dismissed her as a threat considering she was travelling light and didn't have any weapons. Also her simple dress and slightly ragged as if she had been walking for a little while. However, she remained silent as she stared up at him. She knew it was not in her place to voice anything to this man. She didn't see him having the authority to actually decide what to do with her.
Her wait was over though as a large troop of warriors were seen on the horizon. They were riding hard and fast with their banner held high. She recognised their flag from this far a distance as belonging to the army before her. Green eyes were glued to the lead rider who looked quite excited upon his mount as he drew closer. She could only stand there and watch along with the army that pretty much stood facing her.
“Arrhi!” greeted the lead rider as he pulled his mount to a stop with a bright smile upon his face. He looked quite young, but very strong. His sword was sheathed upon his mount and his armour was covered in road grime. It seemed he had been travelling for quite some time as his horse panted for air and couldn't stop fidgeting. “What have we here?”
She could feel those brown eyes looking down upon her and almost flushed at the attention she was receiving. She hadn't felt that way since the last time Rani had looked upon her. It was quite strange to compare the two, but she much preferred Rani's blue eyes to this man. She could see he was the leader considering there were highly decorated guards standing around as well as a few others dressed similarly to the acting leader.
She listened quietly as they talked about her as if she were an object. No one really acknowledged her besides the few stares she was getting from the rest of the group. The generals and the leader, who she assumed to be Alexander, were talking animatedly as if they were having a stroll through the woods. It was quite annoying considering she wanted to find a way out of all of this attention from the warriors. She could see their leering eyes and wouldn't be surprised if some of their thoughts were vulgar.
Her blonde hair swayed momentarily with the slight breeze that had only picked up. She heard it whistle through the trees as if there were a musician blowing melodiously on a flute. She would have closed her eyes to lose herself at the wonders of nature; however she was roughly grabbed by the arm and shoved in front of Alexander as if she were a criminal.
Swift questions were thrown at her and all she could do was stare at Alexander. She was distracted by the look within his eyes and knew why Rani would want to stop him. She could see the underlying greed and power that he sought for which was neither coin nor land. He was searching for the ultimate treasure which was time itself. She could feel his scrutiny and felt a shiver run up her spine. Green eyes were open and knew he had the potential to be the most evil person there could be.
Suddenly, pain erupted from her back at being kicked by the high pitched voice warrior. She wondered what had possessed him to do such a thing. However, everyone was amazed by the outcome which included her. She didn't think the warrior would dent the armour covering his feet. She also didn't expect the man to be hobbling around with a red face, gritting his teeth at the pain he was in.
Silence reigned upon them as she was now stared upon with honest interest. She knew things were turning out badly with the way that she could see the cogs of Alexander's mind working. She jumped to her feet and began to dash away. However, her effort was thwarted as Alexander's quick thinking led to her shoulder having an arrow imbedded into it. She howled in pain and almost tripped. She felt bile rise to her lips and pushed on. She had to escape before they learnt the truth about how she was special.
Another arrow pierced right through her leg and she crumpled to the ground. Pain filled tears slid down her cheeks as she remained lying on the ground as Alexander's guards approached. Her throat was dry as she tried to will the pain away. She needed to get up. She needed to find Rani. She had seen the evil in Alexander's eyes the moment he saw his man limping around. She slowly reached for the arrow in her leg and was about to yank it out, but a hilt of a sword collided against her temple. Darkness enveloped her vision and the pain was gone as she crashed into the world of unconsciousness.
Green eyes blurrily opened to greet the dark night. Only the glimmer of red light from the campfires nearby showcased the army that surrounded her. From what she could see, she assumed there were at least a hundred fires in the entire camp. Some of the men were sharpening their tools while others were already sleeping. She noted that she was at least lying on someone's sleeping furs as well as the fact that she was lying on her front. Her hands had been bound together behind her back and both arrow wounds hadn't been touched.
Worry and pain filled her senses once more. She could only think of one reason why they wouldn't have attended to her wounds. It was obviously a thought which Alexander must have come up with. She wondered how much blood she would lose before they would see their faults in leaving both arrows in. Her powerfully sensitive nose could already detect the infection which was eating away at the wounds. She wouldn't be surprised if she already had one foot in the grave. She felt as weak as a newborn kitten and she didn't even have the strength to moan in pain. Her mind had gone numb as she looked upon the portion of the camp that she could see.
Alexander studied her. His cold brown eyes looked down at her as if she were his ticket to longevity and prosperity. He would be able to conquer the world without any cares about how long he would be able to enjoy it for. He saw it in her green eyes that she was much more than she seemed. A hunger seeped into his soul as he continued to stare at her. Even his generals were a little put off by his new obsession. They couldn't understand why he would do this to her. They only knew that she would end up being one of his toys with her gorgeous looks and ample bosoms.
He slowly stood up from where he watched and meandered over to inspect her wounds. His hands roughly touched each wound as his brows narrowed in concentration. The red glow from the fire was enough light for him to see that the wounds were fighting to heal. He was hunched over her as he continued to prod at the wounds, watching as they bled sluggishly. His hand grasped the hilt of a dagger from his belt and he moved to stab her in the other leg. However, his arm was stopped.
“That's enough Alexander!” warned a general who was as young as Alexander.
“Heph!” greeted Alexander in surprise. He hadn't even heard that his dearest friend was going to meet him this evening. He thought it was not for another couple of days. “What are you doing here? Didn't you have to stay at our last conquest to settle matters of diplomacy?”
Heph smiled at his friend and king. He carefully retrieved the dagger away from Alexander and knelt beside him to look upon the injured blonde beauty. He was intrigued by Alexander's interest and wondered what had transpired for this to occur. He had never seen Alexander wanting to hurt someone in this way before. He saw how she was tied up, defenceless and unarmed.
“I finished up earlier than I anticipated and rode hard to meet up with you earlier. We were slightly delayed on the road and would have met up with you two days ago. So who is she and why is she tied up with arrows still imbedded in her? Why were you going to stab her? I know it was not to kill her.” inquired Heph as he saw the fascination of the blonde grow within Alexander's eyes.
“She's special. The rumours are true. She is strong and fast. I shot her in the shoulder first and it did nothing. I had to shoot a second time and caught her in the leg before she fell. We knocked her out, bound her and left her as she is. That was this afternoon and if you look closer, you can see something amazing.” whispered Alexander as he parted the material around the wounds to better showcase what he had found.
“It's mostly healed around the arrow shaft.” commented Heph as he peered closer.
“Exactly and you know how we use metal arrow heads on our arrows. It would have done more damage than she has now in entering her shoulder. There should have still been a slit and she should have died from blood loss.” explained Alexander excitedly. However, his excitement was halted as he heard cries from some of his warriors who had been standing guard at several posts.
Heph hastily stood up to see over the top of everyone's lifted heads. He could see on the outskirts of the camp that there was something happening and most of the warriors were preparing themselves. He could see their swords glittering off the firelight and wondered what had raised the alarm. His hand quickly went to his sword as he heard more screams and grunts, but on the other side of the camp.
Rani ran with excitement filling what was left of her soul. Her blade was out and she was quickly decimating the large force that were either looking for a weapon or were too stunned to defend them. She smiled brilliantly as blood smeared her blade and it was dripping wet as it slid into one body and then another. She laughed mightily as the warriors were now more prepared and some had started to engage her after the initial surprise attack.
Her blue eyes danced among the faces of those that would soon become the victims to her blade. She was only one person on this front and she had slowed her movements down to enjoy the battle fever that engulfed her. Her entire entourage were on the other side of the camp and she believed they were quickly confusing the enemy who had no idea as to what was attacking them. She felt her companions moving faster than the eye could see and laughed at the confused looks that were on their faces.
She gave fair warnings to all of those that were with her to only maim them. She didn't want to decimate them or others might come to this land and seek whoever had bested the greatest army that the world had ever seen. She was amazed that the enemy were quite organised to be able to respond as quickly as they did. It was a clue as to how much Alexander had trained them.
Blood splattered her face and her blue eyes lit up as she licked her lips. The taste of fresh blood was intoxicating, but she was used to it. It didn't distract her from making sure these warriors were out of their misery by skewering a few and knocking out some with the flat of her blade. She didn't really want to kill so many people since it would mean her food source would be scarce for the next few centuries if word got out. There were already too many rumours of her to begin with and this battle would need to be untold.
She swiftly made her way to the centre where she assumed the leader, Alexander, would be. She felt excitement swim to the surface of her skin as she swatted away the flies that tried to annoy her. Her careful blows made sure to keep those hit out of the battle for good without taking their lives. She could see a group of warriors standing with blades out. As she neared them, a few rushed forward to meet her in battle. She could only smile at the remaining warriors who were watching her with disbelief in their eyes. However, all of them fell forward as they were sent to the land of unconsciousness.
She stood perfectly still as she stared at her own warriors who were slightly out of breath, but remained whole. No one was injured and none of them had been seen. She was proud that no lives had been claimed and could see they were only just starting their task. She bent over and negligently wiped her blade on the dirt as the worry gnawed at her again. Her blue eyes never leaving her warriors who were watching her closely. It was clear they were all still on edge considering the vast number of warriors they all had to knock unconscious.
She could feel something eating away at the back of her mind. She hadn't really planned to attack this night, but something within herself fuelled her need to be right here at this moment. She didn't even know what had pulled her to this place. Her growing need was overwhelming all of her senses and she was about to unleash all of her frustrations.
“Would have been easier if we had sleeping darts like those from the Far East ?” commented Rasheed as he sheathed his clean blade. He smiled as the rest of the group followed suit since they only needed the hilt of their blades. “What would you like us to do now?” he asked in boredom.
Rani's eyes finally darted around and she looked at all of the bodies around them. However, something was odd with where Rasheed was standing. She was immobilised as she tried to figure out why Alexander was lying on top of a woman who had familiar blonde hair.
Rasheed cast his eyes upon the bodies and then stopped at the one he identified as Alexander. His head was tilted to the side as he stared at green eyes looking at him. They looked lifeless, but there was something within them that told him the owner was very much alive. He was about to kneel down and check, but Rani was instantly at his feet looking at the green eyed blonde in alarm.
Rani, none too gently, yanked Alexander's unconscious body off of the blonde. She finally felt the link that they shared and knew without a doubt that this woman was Angelique, but how? She quickly assessed her and saw the bound hands. She was even more alarmed as she spotted both arrow wounds with the tails having been snapped from Alexander's fall. She quickly yanked them out, making sure their tips were still intact.
“What is she doing here?” asked Rasheed as he untied her arms before Rani pulled out the second arrow. He even noticed that Angelique had not screamed in pain or anything. It seemed her mind had long gone from her body. “She's not responsive at all.”
Rani quickly pulled her dagger free from its sheath at her waist and cut the palm of her left hand. She clenched her hand into a fist and dribbled the droplets of her potent blood over both wounds. Her blue eyes watched in worry as it didn't seem like the wounds were healing at all. She had covered both wounds completely with her blood in the hopes that it would heal them like she had done for countless patients before her.
Rasheed watched Rani as she desperately tried to get the wounds to heal. However, he felt it was for naught and knew it was too late. There was no way any of them would be able to heal a person who had died. He felt a heavy weight upon his shoulders as he grabbed Rani's hands and shook his head. “It's too late.” he said, bleakly.
“No!” she growled at him with snarling fangs. Clear watery tears were sliding down the sides of her face as she felt her own heart thump in time with Angelique's. She knew she couldn't be dead yet. There was still a little time left. “I, I just need to give her more blood.” A little light of hope had lit up in her voice as she said it. She wanted the lively woman back. She knew she shouldn't have left so early and she should have told everyone the truth. You'll be alright, my sweet.
She gingerly pulled Angelique into her lap. She wasn't even concerned about the eyes that were staring at her in bewilderment. They had never seen this side of her and she had never cared to show them. She could feel them tracking every little detail about her. The clear tears, her slower movements, her gentleness made her more human than their kind. It was so hard to believe. She had been the only one that they all knew who had been among the first of their kind. Everyone had even started to believe that she was the maker.
“You have to stop this,” pleaded Rasheed as he tried to get Rani's attention.
“No!” yelled Rani, adamantly. Her blue eyes were glaring at him to see if he would try to physically stop her. She saw him cower back in despair. However, she turned all of her attention onto Angelique who was barely clinging to life. She closely bent over and let her lips touch Angelique's. Her tongue was pierced by one of her fangs before she slid the pulsing muscle inside. She felt Angelique's slow swallow and her hope began to blossom.
She waited what seemed like an eternity before she felt Angelique's teeth elongate into a set of fangs. Her slow ministrations of her tongue to will Angelique to drink more was being reciprocated ever so slightly. The heavy weight over her heart was lifting away with her worries. She felt Angelique's slender, almost limp hand, gently move to rest upon her arm. She heard the many gasps from the others at not believing what they were seeing. She slowly pulled away and looked down into shining green eyes that were as teary as her own.
“What trouble have you been causing now?” asked Rani as she gently ran her fingers through Angelique's hair. She was relieved at the slow warmth that was returning to Angelique's body. Her blue eyes, still wet with clear tears, were enveloping Angelique completely to reassure her that she had made it in time. “Angelique?”
“Rani,” whispered Angelique ever so softly. She stared up into blue eyes and was amazed by their clear droplets. She had only ever seen another of their kind cry and it had been bloody tears. She wondered what significance this might mean to the others which she could feel nearby. She carefully sat up with Rani's help and gradually was pulled to her feet.
She looked around with new green eyes to see the slight breathing around her from the many bodies. Most of them were simply knocked out while the minority were slightly injured. She assumed it had something to do with the smell of blood coming from Rani's sheathed blade. Her eyes then slowly moved to the man who had captured her as a prize and left her in a torturous state. She had no compassion left for him. He had been cruel to her only to fuel his knowledge and desires.
She hesitantly stepped closer to Alexander on shaky legs and almost collapsed if it hadn't been for Rani's supporting arm. She smiled sweetly up at her before she stood towering over the evil man. Her eyes had grown hard as she stood there staring. She would not forget him and she would never forgive him. She could already feel the emotions flowing from Rani. There was uncertainty and fear which was new. She had never been able to feel a person's feelings and what was even stranger was the fact that it was only Rani's feelings. She felt the love that Rani had for her. It was a little overwhelming, but she was transfixed on this man who had left her to slowly die.
“What are you going to do with him?” she asked without any feeling.
“We are going to erase their memories and send them back home to forget about us and conquering forever. We'll make him believe that this place is the end of the world and he will never return here. It is the simplest way to make sure no one else disturbs this land for a while. I assume Georgia has already completed the preparations and will be moving the household to a new land.” explained Rani gently into Angelique's ear. She was loud enough for the others to hear her and wasn't disappointed when they left to do the task she had set for them by the mere explanation. They knew what was expected and would do everything to make sure the illusion was in place.
Blue eyes stared at Angelique worriedly. She could feel the slow burning of anger under the surface of Angelique's tiredness and knew it stemmed from the treatment she received. She would have ripped Alexander to pieces, but it would leave the land in which he had conquered into a war zone. She already knew the consequences of his downfall and it would be best if they weren't there to get involved.
“He already d-drank from me,” uttered Angelique hesitantly. She knew how potent their blood was among humans as she had also been turned by Rani. She turned her head to look up into Rani's eyes and could already see the alarm in them. She could even feel the tension that ran through her body as the wheels began to turn within Rani's mind. “He will be one of us.”
Rani opened her mouth to say something, but stopped. She didn't really know what to say. Her hesitancy was not lost on Angelique. However, they still had time to return home and recover before finding a solution to this new problem. She needed time to think about it.
Blue eyes surveyed the large camp and watched as the others blurred from one spot to another as they mended wounds and erased memories. She could already see that Rasheed had finished all of the warriors in his area and was slowly approaching them. She wouldn't be surprised if he had heard their entire conversation. The others were more polite to tone down their hearing sense so that they could have some privacy, but Rasheed was always cautious.
She stared at him openly and knew he would understand that she would consult with him later. They would erase Alexander's mind as well and it would buy them all time to figure out a solution. She made sure Angelique was steady before she knelt down and placed her palm upon his head. Her hand became warm for an instant before she pulled it away. His memory would have been erased and the illusion placed within.
She sighed as she stood back up. Her thoughts strayed as to why Angelique was here in the first place instead of back at the manor. “How did you get out here?” she asked. She was sure that she had not been followed and there had not been any indication from the bond they shared that Angelique had been following. She had felt it for a while after leaving and then shut off the link to concentrate on her task. Her original plans were to divert Alexander closer to the mountains and then have him think that it was the end of his world.
“ Georgia told me to pack. She then took me home and gave me a bag of coins. She said that I should forget about our world and that you had made a mistake. She said I would probably get hurt and she left.” explained Angelique quickly. She could feel Rani's anger, but knew it was more directed at herself than at Georgia . She wondered why though. “I started walking back in the direction of the manor and somehow I managed to start trailing Alexander's army. They spotted me and once I looked into his eyes, I knew I had to run away. He shot me with his bow and I woke up trussed right here before you came.”
Rani listened and knew there was an entire chunk that Angelique had not divulged yet. She swiftly looked around to see that the warriors were all repositioned as if they had fallen asleep and some of them were even propped up onto their feet like they had fallen asleep while on duty. She felt the tension in the camp shift from making sure everyone was placed in an appropriate position to relief as her warriors assembled nearby to still give them some measure of privacy.
“Angelique,” she sighed,” you are special. You are special like I am. You have retained some of your human qualities and the gift I gave you has only enhanced them. You still feel the thirst to feed, but you are unique. They don't feel you as one of them. Even I was under the same scrutiny until they saw me feed with them and fight with them. I should have told Georgia and she wouldn't have done what she thought was best for you.”
“So no one knows that I am one of them?” asked Angelique confusedly.
“Well, the few that are here would know by now, but the rest at the manor would not. I think it's time for us to head back and clear up a few things before someone else tries to think what is best for you. Are you feeling better?” asked Rani as she cupped Angelique's face. She pulled their heads together so that their foreheads were touching. She felt and saw Angelique's gentle nod before she turned her attention to her warriors. There was still much to be done.
Rani and Angelique returned home the express way while Rasheed stayed behind with the others to double check that everything for the most part was in order. They had to be thorough so that it would guarantee the amount of time they had before they needed to come back and resolve the issue with Alexander becoming one of them. Their return home would be less dramatic to the way Rani and Angelique had suddenly appeared in the foyer.
“Welcome…” faltered Georgia as she stared at Angelique confused. She was standing on the first floor landing, staring down at the two of them. She didn't move from where she was as she knew Rani's wrath would be upon her any moment now for sending the wee one back home.
“ Georgia ,” said Rani as her blue eyes glued Georgia to the spot. She could see that Georgia was confused as well as anticipating the wrath that would be upon her. She wouldn't have made her feel anything different if she had not thought about it. She had wondered for the last two weeks as to why no one treated Angelique with due respects that was supposed to be given because of the blood gift. Her conclusions only led her to believe that no one knew and it would mean that Angelique was indeed special. She had only figured it out a couple of days before she had to leave, but there had been more pressing matters that consumed her time. “Assemble everyone into the meeting hall. I have an announcement to make that is long overdue.” she commanded unemotionally.
It didn't take long for everyone to gather. All of them were murmuring of what the announcement would be about considering Rani had returned from dealing with Alexander. They assumed it had something to do with that war lording conqueror. Even the warriors who had gone with Rani returned and were assembled. The murmurs didn't die down as Rani made her appearance with Angelique upon her arm. They were all surprised that the girl was still around and thought Georgia had sufficiently disposed of her. They all looked at their leader in respect, but were glaring at Angelique.
“I have some news that I have put off for some time. I should have announced this earlier, but because of Alexander, it was delayed. I want you all to bow down to your new leader, Angelique. She will be staying with us.” announced Rani with a wide smile. She stared at Angelique as she told everyone and hadn't noticed their expressions.
Angelique was overwhelmed by the number of their kind. She hadn't realised there had been this many within the household. She had to wonder where they all slept and if they had their own rooms or not. She had only assumed there were a few of them and some of the others stayed somewhere else. However, she didn't logically piece together the fact that there were no other dwellings surrounding the manor in this place.
She stared at the many glares that were directed at her. Some of them ignored her and others were confused as to why she was dangling off Rani's arm. She could see that Rani was trying to parade her upon the others so that the announcement would make everyone realise she was one of them. However, at Rani's small speech, she cringed. It was surprising, but it didn't explicitly explain she was one of them. So she was getting an audience full of glares besides those that were with Rani on her little journey.
She felt the tension in the room become hostile and could feel Rani turn her head to stare them down as if they were naughty children. She was a little relieved that no one had come to attack her, but she could see some of them coiling up ready to strike her down. It was obvious they were thinking about her as if she had coerced their leader.
“You didn't tell them.” she whispered so softly that Rani could barely hear her. She moved slightly away from Rani and could see the hurt that was reflected back at her. She couldn't understand why Rani didn't just be frank with them. Why don't you tell them straight up that I'm one of them?
“Angelique,” said Rani in alarm as she realised her mistake. She could feel the tension in the room and if she hadn't glared them into their place, she knew Angelique would have been hurt. She wondered why she hadn't just come forward and told them the truth. She had meant to say it, but it came out differently. “She will be your leader.” said Rani again and it left her puzzled. She stared at Angelique and saw her retreating further away. “I don't understand,” she tried to explain. “Why isn't it coming out right?”
“You've fooled me. I should have listened to Georgia and gone home.” uttered Angelique as she backed away even further. She could feel tears sliding down the sides of her face and knew the others were no longer under Rani's sway. She could see them gearing up and one of them would attack her soon. She wasn't even listening to Rani anymore. There was no need for her to listen to more lies that seemed to continue to sprout from Rani's lips. She could hear her own heart breaking as she continued to move away. However, it didn't matter as one of them leapt up toward her.
She could see Rani's alarmed eyes and feel her attacker coming closer. It all felt so surreal, as time slowed down and every little detail of Rani could be made out. She could see the clear tears, the human paced movement and the worry within her eyes. There was nothing left to do, but to concentrate on her attacker as he moved into her sights and put Rani out of her view.
Anger; pulsating, volcanic, thunderous rage filled her entire being. She saw the man approaching closer. He was airborne and was poised to strike her with his claws which were extended in a wide arc. She felt the air shift ever so slightly as his arm began to close in on her. Her green eyes glowed brilliantly as she bared her fangs and hissed menacingly as if she were a lion and he were a cub.
She leapt forward and grabbed the man around the throat as her anger poured from her body. She could feel him shaking in fear as he realised she was more powerful than he had thought she would be. She reared her other arm back with her hand clenched into a fist to drive it forward and into the man's stomach. However, a powerful arm latched onto hers and held her still.
Green eyes looked over to meet glowing blue with a wide smile upon her lips. She was confused by Rani's exuberant happiness. She didn't understand. Did I miss something? She continued to hold onto the man who had gone to attack her and knew he was trying to struggle free. Her grip was cruel around his neck, but she slowly loosened it and let him slip free. She could feel everyone's fear now instead of hostility. Only Rani seemed to be overjoyed at her little display.
“What's going on?” asked Angelique in confusion.
“I'm sorry Angelique. I had to anger you so that you would reveal to them all your true nature. They wouldn't have believed me if I told them just like how they didn't believe me last time when I told them I was one of them. It was necessary.” said Rani gently as she pulled Angelique into a tight hug to calm the slight anger that was still there. She felt the anger slipping away and knew Angelique's fangs would have retracted by now.
Blue eyes looked around the room and could see the many disbelieving eyes. They were all stunned at their new leader. She felt another weight lift off of her shoulders as things in the manor would now settle down and no one would show disrespect toward her ever again. She could feel her smile plastered to her face. Her acting abilities were top notched and luckily she had her warriors handy in case the others all charged together.
“You owe me. ” whispered Angelique as she held onto Rani and let her anger slip away. She felt so tired now after the ordeal with Alexander and now here. She wondered when she would be able to rest. Her eyes were already drooping and her body was slowly becoming limp within Rani's arms.
“Rest, my sweet, and I will clear up the rest.” said Rani in a caressing purr which further sent Angelique into the world of sleep. She swung Angelique up into her arms. She wasn't surprised to see those green eyes closed and chest moving slightly with each breath.
Rani smiled as she left the manor which was relocated to a new land. She had to clean up the loose end that was Alexander. She had left him alone for almost three moons and it was high time to return to that area to see what had been brewing since their absence. She wouldn't be surprise if he had gone home since it was what she had wanted in the first place.
She used the express way to get right into the chambers that belonged to the king. She could see the many lush decorations which were as clean as they could be. She was sure he would be lurking around here somewhere since she could feel the bond that linked their kind together. Her heart thumped and started to pick up as she felt something wasn't right. The hair on the back of her neck started to stand on end as she moved further into the room.
Suddenly, a body lunged out at her and she only just barely raised her hands to fend off the great brute of a man. She could see the hunger in his eyes and knew immediately she had left this for far too long. She saw his fangs poised to rip her apart and feast on her blood. She pushed him back and gripped him around the throat to immobilise him to the bed post. His arms were swinging wildly with claws trying to scratch at her. However, she made sure to hold him by the back of his neck. His arms were longer and he was a newborn who would show amazing strength when they are born. Only a few were like her which now included Angelique. They were the only ones who were allowed into their kind without the curses the others had to endure like her cousins.
She felt him try to claw behind him in failed attempts and wondered how he was able to be confined to this room. She could tell he hadn't left it since he came here and there was no smell of death about this place which was really odd. She looked around again and only saw the thick chain that was wrapped around one of his legs. She cringed at the device which cut into the leg to make sure it wouldn't be removed. She could smell the infection and feel the pain that Alexander must be in.
Blue eyes looked around for more clues and had to wonder who had been able to figure out all of this. She wondered if this person was able to also figure out all of their weaknesses or had prior knowledge. She could even smell holy water which was only water that had been scented and apparently worshiped. She smiled at the thought that a priest might had used it on Alexander and gotten nothing but snarling fangs. Holy water was just water to their kind. It had no such attributes to ward her kind off. She was sure whoever held Alexander gathered would have tried all of the fables out there. She almost laughed at spotting a clove of garlic near the bed.
Suddenly, she felt a blade at her neck and knew she hadn't been alone after all. She sensed it was another man and the smell of him was enough to tell her the truth. She could smell disease from his body and the slight rattle of his sword as he tried to hold it still. She smiled at his courage and wondered who this man could be.
“What is your name, brave man?” asked Rani.
“Heph,” replied Heph as he coughed violently before putting his blade down. He knew it was a useless tool since he could barely hold it. His bloodshot brown eyes looked at Rani as if he were dreaming. He couldn't imagine a woman being able to handle Alexander so effortlessly compared to how much effort he had to put in just to get the man to have a chain on his leg in his own room. “Who are you?”
“The one who will try to rectify what is wrong with him.” replied Rani silkily as she studied Alexander with her unhuman eyes. She could see the differences within him and how he was going mad because of his thirst for blood. She wouldn't put it against him that any day now, he would be able to rip those chains free and go on a feeding frenzy. “How long has he been like this?” she asked in a no nonsense kind of tone.
He replied immediately without lying. He knew she was true to her word, but he doubted the price would be her generosity. He could feel the powerful aura that filled the room and it was because of her presence. He had never felt it so thick before and it was overwhelming compared to how Alexander commanded a room. He coughed again as sweat slid down from his forehead. He could tell his fever had yet to break and the bites from Alexander weren't healing at all. He knew he needed treatment, but he didn't have an explanation as to how he got them. He wouldn't be able to tell another soul the condition Alexander was in since he feared an uprising of those that opposed Alexander.
Rani's blue eyes traced the firm juncture of his neck and slowly pulled forward with her fangs exposed. The whiff of odour that poured from his body was overwhelming and she would have gagged, but she kept her response in check. She knew she needed a closer examination to see if she could reverse what he had done to himself. She had seen this happen many times before when a human would drink blood of her kindred and they would be intoxicated. They would become mindless blood thirsty beasts. If a human were to take blood within the sacred ritual of her people, they would only then become one of them.
She slipped her fangs in and only took a small amount of blood into her lips. The odour coming off the man was three times better than the taste of his disgusting blood. She spat the mouthful of blood out and onto the floor before licking the spot she had bitten. With saliva and a little of her blood from her tongue, she sealed the bite and effectively marked him. There would be no one who would try to make this one as their own now that she had done this. It was to assure her that he would remain a human after she was done with him.
“You bit him.” commented Heph as he could no longer stand and so pulled a chair over to rest in. His breathing was ragged and his eyes were droopy as he tried to concentrate on what she was doing. “Can you save him?” He looked at her hopefully. It pained him to see his childhood friend in this condition and not to mention the countless times that he had been bitten and beaten by his friend.
Rani thought about what she should do. In actual fact, she had never turned a blood thirsty monster at this level of change back into a human before. She had only done the very few who had seen to her immediately and actually wanted to change back into a human. It all had to do with her blood since she could control how it affected the people that drank from her. She could make them one of her or she could change them back. It was her special gift that everyone saw to her as the master of their kind. However, she had to wonder at that as well since she had no memory of anyone making her into the special beast. She was just thrown into this world fully formed with no idea as to what she was supposed to do.
She slowly inched closer to Alexander and whispered gently into his ear. Her silky voice with its powerful ability to coerce a person to bid her will was making Alexander fall into a dreamless sleep. She didn't bother to take any care with his body as she threw him onto the four poster bed and turned to face Heph. Her blue eyes watched him and could see a lot more than he wanted to show.
“You are close friends with him and you let him bite you that many times. You lack blood and thus you are ill as you are. Your health will only deteriorate further with the amount of blood you have left at this moment and the amount of infection from all of the untreated wounds. Your body can't regenerate blood as fast as his needs and yet you still let him bite you. Do you love him that much?” asked Rani as she summed up the type of relationship that Heph shared with Alexander. She had only been sceptical before about their relationship because of the rumours, but now before her was the truth. “Do you really want to save him?”
“Can you?” he asked again hopefully.
“It will cost both of us to turn him back to normal. It might even not be worth it considering he loves you as well and will probably die a few moons down the track. However, I know that you see the empire he has created will crumble if its king is nowhere to be found. Wars will break out and the world will be caught in the middle. Do you want to save him or do you want to save his legacy?” She had already thought it through as she calculated the chances of Alexander returning to his normal self. It would be the best for this part of the world if he lived a little longer. It would give those that were with Alexander to think things through and finally resolve all of the conflicts of power between all of the lords that consulted with Alexander.
“I want to at least save his legacy. We both knew our time would be up eventually, whether it was in glorious battle or not. I just want them to remember how great he is. I want them to know how I see him.” explained Heph as he stood up determinedly, but was a little unsure as to how he would be added into the equation of saving him.
She sighed in regret. Bearded clam, she's going to kill me. She wouldn't be able to keep Angelique's promise of a long stroll on the beach on the morrow or a candlelit dinner later that night. She was supposed to check in and change him back. She hadn't thought his progression was this far along and so it would most likely drain her dry. She would truly die just for the sake of Angelique's conscience. She didn't want Angelique to feel responsible for Alexander becoming one of them because he took it upon himself to drink from her blood without the ritual or her consent.
Her blue eyes fell to the ground and she could see that Heph was a little surprised by her expression. She had shown him she was regretting what she was about to do and what the consequences would be. She looked him in the eyes and smiled confidently before explaining what had to be done.
“…Alexander drank from me while Heph drank from him as I performed the ritual.” explained Rani as she sat comfortably on the lounge. She smiled as Angelique snuggled closer into her embrace and was a little surprised that she had remembered everything that had happened. She wondered what things she had missed out on for Angelique to be so clingy. “So in the end, I gave up my life and so did Heph. Alexander lived for a few more months and then his empire was dispersed among the other lords because of the power play among them. There was only one thing that was different about Alexander after the ritual. It was the last thing that I remember clearly. He had one blue eye and one brown eye. I didn't think the ritual would do that, but I guess we were lucky.”
Miki nodded her head, trying to absorb in her history lesson of how her friend, Rani, was a reincarnate of the original Rani. She had known Rani through school and always kept in touch, but to find out that she was more than she seemed was a bit overwhelming. “So I guess that makes me relieved to know I don't really need to look out for you anymore.” commented Miki.
“Don't worry, all of us will be worrying about her now and she won't be going off sacrificing herself for anyone else. I don't even care if it is for my self conscience either. I prefer you here.” said Angelique possessively as she clung to Rani. She would never let her leave her sights again.
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