• Underground was not a place that most people frequented, which was a wise decision. Most nightly creatures hid underground, waiting for the moonlight to guide them through the darkness. Though, on rare occasions, someone might stumble upon the nightly creatures hiding places. These nightly creatures weren’t ones a normal human would think to find possibly in an abandoned subway station. Those were the ones from the legends passed down from generation to generation, and those that were thought to be just myths. The thing was; they were real, real enough to kill any human that just happened upon them accidentally. Especially if a human happened upon a small dug in little cave thing. Inside they would find stone walls with smaller cage-like cells. Bars covered the small entrance holes to the small cages. If a human happened upon a prison-looking place like that, they would be killed instantly with no question about it.

    Though, that was where a young girl, no younger or older than nineteen was being held. Lavish brown hair dropped carelessly over her covered eyes. Her back was propped gently against the cool rock that outlined the cell cage, though the cold did not phase he for her body was already cold. Nothing was wrong with her, it was actually normal for her to have such a freezing body temperature. That was just how her kind was. Here she waited for her punishment that was long overdue, but there were no feelings of regret, or remorse felt; just the adrenaline that was pumping through her veins. If they wanted to kill her, so be it, but she wasn’t going down without a fight.

    As the sound of advancing footsteps echoed around the narrow hallways, it reached her oversensitive ears, alerting her to what was about to happen. The sound of keys rattling in something metal caused her chin to tilt upward, her eyelids slowing opening to reveal soft brown eyes; identical coloring to her hair. Standing before her was a dark robed man with a medium-build. His short, but spiked up black hair accented his fine facial features. A deep set of golden eyes stared cautiously down upon her. Though his lips did not move, the female already knew what he was going to say.

    A frustrated sigh escaped her sly, cunning lips as her feet fell to the floor below. Standing up, she only came up to about the man’s shoulders, if not that. There was no indicator that this was the man that was going to kill her, but if it was, there was still no way she wasn’t going down without a fight. If there was one thing that she had learned while being in the cramped cage, it was to assess your enemies before attacking. Well, the man in front of her was already assessed, and without warnings of him attacking her, what point was there to attack. Then again, there was no point in talking either. Number one rule in the prison she was in: Don’t talk unless spoken to first.

    The man seemed to hesitate at first, and then turning on the balls of his feet, exited the prison cell, the brown-haired female right behind him. There was no need for shackles or anything. Besides too many guards lined the various hallways so even if she managed to elude her escort, she still had to get past them - as if that was going to happen. So, instead of trying to formulate an escape plan, her thoughts went into overdrive on how to survive when they tried to kill her. Her thoughts seemed to take her from the reality around her.

    Next thing she knew was standing before her were huge golden doors that swung open when the duo stepped closer. The light from inside the massive room temporarily blinded her, causing her arm to snap up, shielding her sensitive eyes from the bright light. Though, once her eyes had adjusted, the arm was placed back down at her side, but they widened in pure horror. Sitting all around her were hundreds of vampires; all elders, or high council members. That killed her escape plan. The room seemed to be like an indoor Roman Coliseum.

    Her tracks ended in the middle of the room, the guard stopping, and then leading off toward the right. Hesitantly, she prepared to follow, only to be stopped by another guard. This one didn’t talk to her either. Now she knew that something was terribly wrong. That was only confirmed as both Her Highness and His Majesty appeared across the room from her. The vampire royal line was coming toward her? Why? What motive did they posses? Once they approached, all the vampires around her rose to their feet and bowed in respect to the royal line; all the vampires except for her. Instead of showing respect, her face portrayed what emotions had flooded her since her lock up. Anger, rage, pure hatred, and even hostility were etched into her fine and delicate facial features.

    “Now, I take it this is the young Christina who has been locked up her whole life. What is she now? Eighteen?”

    “Nineteen,” Christina snapped back. The king had asked the ridiculous question, so it was the king whom she was snapping at. The guard at her side normally would have tackled her to the ground to take her off to punish her, but for some reason remained. That worried her even more. Nevertheless, the king was right. The inside of the tiny prison cell was the only thing that she could call home for the last nineteen years. Having done something that you do not remember, and then thrown into jail for it is even more frustrating. According to one of her guards that happened to pass by her cell one day, she had managed to kill fifty-eight vampires in one go. How that was even possible, was beyond her. The memory was gone as if it had never happened in the first place. Meaning, she did not remember a thing.

    “Respect your elders, young Christina. Perhaps that cannot be helped considering your lack of manners inside that little cramped space. How you can even talk is beyond me,” the queen reminded the young girl before her. “I guess it’s in your blood.”

    With a slight growl of frustration, she merely just turned away from the duo before her. The slender arms that were resting at her side quickly shot forward, in an act to defend herself as a guard hastily advanced toward her. As a reaction, her eyes shut tightly and her feet carried her backwards, nearly making her trip over something.

    Suddenly, electric-blue energy began to circle around her feet, intensifying with each circle completed. As the energy increased, it seemed that Christina had calmed down, at least a little bit. Opening her eyes, they widened at the sight. Never before had something like this happened to her. It was all new, and at first, she didn’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing. Meaning, was it her energy, or someone else’s? Though, that was quickly answered as the advancing guard inched closer to her. The energy lashed out, singeing the armor protecting the guard’s arm. As the armor darkened, the male inside the armor reeled back, screaming.

    Christina was left standing alone, glancing down at her hands, then down at the energy revolving around her. Was this really from her? No, that was impossible. Being locked up for her whole life had left her doubting herself no matter what. Besides, there was no way that this unspeakable amount of energy was hers. Well, it was protecting her. Though, testing it out wouldn’t be the best idea in the world right now. - Especially in front of Her Highness, and His Majesty.

    “How dare you attack one of the royal guards!” the Queen spat. The iciness of her tone was clear spoken through the harsh words. Even the King beside her was outraged. Never before had someone attacked one of the royal guards and gotten away with it. Now here was a vampire that didn’t even know her place, let alone where she belonged, and even she was managing to get away with it.

    The female ignored them, just gazing at the energy swirling around her. It was so awe inspiring. It seemed to flow just like her emotions, rising, and then falling. Her heart seemed to connect with it, making her believe that it really was hers. How she had even come across this power was beyond her. Wasn’t she just a lowly vampire? Even that seemed unreal. Suddenly, a wave of guards came rushing from the entrance to the large coliseum, weapons drawn. As they advanced on Christina, she did nothing, for there was nothing that she could do.

    Then, as the guards neared closer and closer, the energy around the young vampire’s feet surged forward, but stopped short of the guards. Instead, it fell low to the ground and accumulated. The energy began to grow and grow, and soon a shape began to form. Although, the shape was not recognizable until it had nearly finished.

    Standing before Christina stood a good five foot tall wolf, and that was just when it was standing on all fours. Energy rippled through the defined fur as a low growl emanated from its throat. The color of the wolf was the same color as the energy that made it up, though the eyes resembled something more of the devilish color; something in the dark red range.

    ‘Don’t worry. I won’t let them harm you.’

    The voice rang throughout her mind, causing her to flinch. Where had that voice come from? As perplexed brown eyes scanned the room, it seemed as if no one else had heard the voice. Was it only in her mind?

    Then it hit her. The wolf glanced back, a smile upon its curled lips. It was the wolf that had talked to her! There was no time to think as the guards paid no attention to the snarling wolf and kept advancing. Her attention was too focused on the guards that she failed to notice the figure standing behind her until a hand slipped over her mouth, covering her scream.

    “Now, now, young Christina, There is no need to fight when the winner is obviously not you.”

    Her eyes shot up to the figure behind her, catching a glimpse of the pale, scar-ridden face. Though, instead of fear placing itself into her eyes, determination took its place. Looking the figure over once more, the soft brown eyes trailed back to the snarling wolf that had noticed and was trying to decide on which side to battle on. With only her eyes, Christina silently told the wolf that the one holding her was her problem and that it should worry about the other guards. And, of course, somehow the wolf knew exactly what she was trying to say to it, and smirked in her direction.

    Inhaling through her nose, she quickly calmed herself before placing most of her weight upon the soles of her feet. Then, with a great push, the force of the upward jab knocked the man holding her off balance, causing him to stumble backward. That was when she took her chance. Without hesitating one bit, one foot was placed firmly on the ground, while the other one was flexibly swung backward, kicking the man in the crotch.

    In complete and utter pain, the man unhanded Christina and stumbled backward. A tear rolled from his eyes, but now wasn’t the time to be sorry for him. Instead she stationed one of her feet on the ground while side-kicking the man in the side of the head with the other foot. The force had knocked him out. That or he was dead.

    The guards and the royals alike were shocked at the spectacle that had just happened before them. They didn’t move an inch. The demonstration had been enough to tell the people just how dangerous she really was.

    “That’s it! Seize her! Don’t let her go!” the booming voice of the King ordered. Soon guards surrounded her and her ice wolf. Though this time they were either going to capture her, or kill her. Whichever came first basically? As they inched forward, the wolf kept a protective stance in front of the young female, ready to defend against any weapon. But, soon they were forced into a corner. There was virtually nowhere to go.

    “Kill her.”

    The icy order was quickly carried out as the weapons the guards carried were lifted and pointed towards the duo. They didn’t seem to hesitate as the half circle around them was tightly closed upon. When it seemed that blood would be shed, there was a tiny explosion sound that came from the other side of the large doors that led into the massive room. The guards seemed to pause and look at the doors.

    Christina took this distraction to her advantage. The wolf seemed to know exactly what she was thinking, because next thing she knew the wolf surged forward, knocking as many guards out of their way as possible. Slipping through the small gap, she ran toward the middle of the room before slamming to a halt. Turning sharply to face the rest of the guards who were now charging her, she nearly fell forward as the large doors were blasted open. Catching herself, her soft brown eyes trailed to the open hole. Nothing seemed to come from it at first, which seemed to put everyone else on edge. Then, a bright flash of orange that grew in size as it neared was shot at her.

    Much to her surprise it was a giant fireball. Jumping to the side, Christina barely managed to dodge it. Somersaulting back upon her feet, the fireball was already gone. The vampire King seemed to have already taken care of it. With his palm outstretched in front of him, smoke seemed to circle around his dark gloved hand.

    What was going on?

    Christina heard something coming from the opening in the wall. Snapping her head around, she saw a tall figure emerge. Snowy white hair draped over his head down to his shoulders. Side bangs covered his left eye, but that wasn’t what caught her attention. Set perfectly into his delicate facial features sat two emerald-green eyes that seemed to pierce through her whole being. His eyes hovered over her for a moment before they fell upon the vampire king and queen behind her. As they did, four more figures emerged from the large opening. All of them seemed to be males. Two seemed to be twins just based off of their hairstyles, height, and stance. One seemed a little darker than the other with his pitch-black hair that ran diagonally down to his shoulders. The other had light brown hair cut the same as the one beside him. Those two flanked the white-haired male on his left while two other males flanked him on the right. One was tall, roughly six-foot-three with dark-black hair that barely reached beyond his slightly pointed ears. The other male however had short blond hair that extended slightly past his ears. The blond-haired male seemed to have calming hazel-brown eyes that held just a hint of concern.

    Who were these people? Beside the fact that they were grouped together, their clothing was individual just like their stance and appearance. The white-haired male wore a tight red sleeveless shirt with a slightly darker red vest over top. Black jeans seemed to hug the delicate, but well-built legs.

    The blond-haired male wore a skull-branded bandana over his hair, and a sleeveless white shirt that seemed to be torn from battles. His denim-blue jeans hung slightly away from his legs, but still showed how defined they were. Two matching brown fingerless-gloves covered his hands, but exposed his fingers. Silver brackets were positioned around each finger hole.

    The twins seemed to have matching clothing except opposite colors. The black-haired male wore a black velvet sleeveless shirt that hugged his slender figure. Around his waist hung multiple belts that just seemed to be there for no reason. Around his legs were faded-black jeans that were tightly bound around his legs. Around his elbows hung braces that seemed to help him in whatever was needed of him. It was the same with the other male, the brown-haired one. Except for a black velvet shirt, instead he wore a dark-blue velvet shirt. And white jeans replaced the black jeans on the other male. Everything else was the same. He even had elbow braces around his elbow.

    However, the strangest one was the black-haired male. His eyes could not been seen. Instead, his black hair covered over his eyes, but so did a black bowler hat. Even though his eyes were covered, he seemed to get around just fine. However, his clothing could not be seen except for the black jacket that was draped over his entire body. It extended just barely past his knees. Dark-brown jeans covered the rest of his legs.

    Everyone seemed to be in awe as the five males stepped farther into the massive room. They kept in sync, not budging from the formation that they were currently in. When the white-haired male stopped, the rest followed. What was even stranger was the fact that His Majesty moved past Christina, toward the newcomers. There was anger perfectly portrayed in his facial features, but that didn’t stop his advancement.

    “Claus, what a nasty surprise. Not only are you rude enough to disturb the session the council is currently in, but you seemed to have brought friends from your… profession.” The King’s voice held the obvious anger, but there was also a hint of confusion mixed in.

    The white-haired male, Claus, stepped forward, but this time the rest of the group stayed behind. His piercing eyes looked over the King before crossing his arms across his chest and answering the king. “Nasty is right, father. I’m here to take the young vampire behind you. She belongs with us, so I suggest you hand her over quietly, or we will take her by force.”

    Father? There was no resemblance between the young male and the King, but the king did not seem to deny it. That wasn’t the strangest part though. What in the world did they want with her? She was just a low vampire that had been locked up her entire life. Not once shown the wonders of the outside world. Besides, she had never even met these men. What value could she possibly hold for them?

    “She is not going to go with you, Prince Claus. Instead, maybe you think about coming back home. I hate to think that everyday you put your life on the line for something that you believe in.” There was an obvious hint of compassion thrown into his tone of voice, but that was probably just a mere trick. “Your mother and I still care deeply about you. Even if you did manage to nearly incapacitate me when you left. That is another matter.”

    This was all just very confusing for Christina, but no matter how much it wasn’t making sense, she was determined for it to start making sense. Shaking her head lightly and motioning to the wolf to stay, she moved past the King and toward Claus.

    “What is it you want with me anyway?” Christina snapped. Patience was not her forte, and it probably never would be. “What value do I hold for you? I mean, I don’t even know you! Hell, I don’t even know the world outside of this room and my cell!”

    Even though her orders to the wolf were to stay, the outburst seemed to call it to her side. Now standing besides her stood the shoulder-height wolf, snarling at Claus. Even anger seemed to course through her. Enough to force her slender fingers to curl up into fists trembling at her side.

    Claus seemed to ignore the wolf, but at the same time acknowledge its presence and ferocity. His hands slid into the pockets of his jeans as a heavy sigh escaped his soft lips. Whatever was going through the male’s mind, he wasn’t about to tell her. Even if it did pertain to her question. That just seemed to infuriate her more. If he couldn’t inform her why he need her, then what was the point in even going with him?

    “Calm your anger, Christina Cross,” the male said with a calming tone that seemed to wash over her like an ocean wave. The iciness seemed to have vanished from his eyes. All that was left was kindness and a sense of responsibility. “Can you just trust me? I want to take you away from this horrible place.”

    That just confused her even more, but to her surprise, the wolf at her side seemed to trust Claus and believe in what he was saying. The posture said it all. The growling had ceased as well, which ultimately perplexed the young female. But, for some odd reason, she believed Claus as well. Turning sharply around to face the King, her fists uncurled and were placed upon her hips. Cocking her hips to the side and skillfully arching an eyebrow over one of her eyes, there was a sly way to her posture as she pondered what to say.

    “You see, Your Majesty. Technically since you do not own me, I have free reign of where I go,” Christina stated coldly. “I’m going with them.” That was probably a mistake in the end, but right now it seemed to play out perfectly. Claus would take her away from the vampire council, which would cause her not to die. Which was always a good thing was it not? The only possibility that she didn’t want to think about was what was going to happened when they returned back to the place the male’s called home?

    A delicate hand was placed upon her shoulder, forcing her to look back at the white-haired male. There was a warmhearted smile plastered on his face before it disappeared as he looked back at the king. “I’ll be taking her with me. Don’t even try to stop me.”

    With that, Claus led Christina across the large room. All eyes were upon them. Confusion struck their facial features before the group disappeared from sight.

    Perplexed brown eyes shifted from Claus to the rest of the group, the over to the wolf who was still at her side. The other males seemed to flank her, as if they were afraid of an attack. That or predicting one. But why would the royals, especially a prince worry about a lowlife like her? No matter how much this didn’t make sense, the more questions she seemed to ask, the more confusing it became. However, the wolf at her side calmed her worries quite a bit.

    It wasn’t long before the semi-dark hallway was illuminated by light. The light was much brighter than Christina had ever seen before, and it made her eyes squint tightly closed. Luckily the wolf at her side guided her into the light and into the world outside the royal vampire’s palace. As the soft eyelids drifted back to their resting place, the dark pupils contracted in recognition of the amount of light. Soon, she gazed in awe at the world around her. Trees banked the large castle, which helped hide it from wandering eyes.

    But wasn’t the prison underground? Exactly how massive was the vampire’s castle? Those questions would be answered later for Claus was leading her down the gradual slope that lay before them. They seemed to be walking through a forest and beyond the forest lay a large city with tall buildings. The human’s city; Mystro City. The light from the setting sun reflected beautifully off of the clear windows of the buildings. Walking along the streets was a lot of people, completely oblivious to the group on the hill before them. Was it really that hidden?

    Claus seemed to notice her disbelief and awe of the place because he slowed down, waiting for her to finish. The rest of the group, however, seemed eager to return from whence they came. Being near the vampire castle unsettled those for some reason, but not one spoke up. Was Claus their leader of sorts?

    So many questions, so little answers. But that was actually all right with Christina, because the answers would soon come to her. Taking in one last sight of the city, her eyes lowered back to the kind boy, and with a slight nod of her head, they continued down the slope. Excitement and joy washed over her once she finally realized that the place that had been her home for so long was far behind her.

    With the castle far behind them, the city gates came into clear view. Christina was actually excited to see the city, but nervous because how were vampires supposed to act human? Being locked up for her whole life, there was nothing really taught to her about trying to fit in with humans, but Christina just hoped that her new friends would help her - sooner than later would be preferred.

    “Hey, Claus, exactly why did you rescue me? You didn’t have to do that, you know,” Christina commented, stopping in her tracks. For one she didn’t even know this guy, let alone the rest of the people that he was traveling with, so why help her? Slender fingers brushed back a few lone strands of her dark-brown hair and tucked it behind her ears. Why would someone help a vampire?

    Claus stopped in his tracks, and so did the others, but with a delicate hand he waved them on. As the others continued on, he made his way back up to the confused vampire that he had just saved. Little did she know of what happened to people like her, or how lucky she was to not have been executed earlier. Stopping short, the young male scoffed lightly.

    “I saved you because I know what my father does to people like you. To him you’re just another outsider that has no right to stay alive in this world, or the next. I’ve just seen too many vampires that literally had nothing to do with the crime that they were charged with, go to be executed. And you’re probably wondering about the sunlight thing,” Claus chuckled, his emerald-green eyes trailing from Christina to the clouds above them. All vampires should be demolished by the sunlight, but for some reason he wasn’t, and neither was the female. “However, that is a question I do not know the answer to. It’s only happened to a select few. You, me, and half-bloods that share vampire’s blood along with some other blood. Take Desmond for example; half-vampire, half-demon. The demon half of him keeps his body from being destroyed by the sunlight. Us, however, I don’t know. Genetics, maybe, I just don’t know.”

    Well that sure answered a lot of unasked questions. Except the answers just seemed to bring light to more questions without answers. It was going to be a very long time before all of her questions would be answered. The least she could do at the moment was follow Claus and the rest of the group to wherever it was they were going. There was still no reason as to why they were helping even though Claus seemed to have answered it with his own maddening riddle.