A/N: I have another story going, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone. This fic is darker than my other one (rated higher too). I thought I'd try something different and here it is! I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 1: Late Night Meeting
In this world vampires were not merely myth, they were as real as you or I.
Just like in human society there were rich vampires, poor vampires, and those who could be considered middle class. Typically, the vampires of lower classes pledged their allegiance to the ruling vampire in the area.
The rules guiding the vampires were set by these lords. The most important habit of the vampire, the feeding of human blood, had an especially strict set of guidelines. While the vampires were stronger, having more physical strength and abilities far beyond that of a human, they were still smaller in number than the mortals.
Centuries ago wars had been fought between the two species, resulting in a high loss of casualties on both sides. Back then, vampires freely fed off of humans, draining them dry in every encounter. The mortals, not liking this wolf and sheep relationship, decided to destroy the vampires that were ruthlessly killing them. Thus, a great war began and continued on for many centuries, neither gaining victory over the other.
In those days, persecutions were at their height on both sides and terror was a common feeling. No one but the bravest of humans dared move about at night, and vampires had to find the safest of places to rest during the day. Any dealings with the other people were met with lynching mobs and the eventual death of both parties.
Finally, not able to take the senseless violence any longer, both sides came together in a peace treaty. In this pact humans would no longer be preyed upon by the vampires. From then on, instead of a vampire draining a victim dry they would drink blood donated by humans. Mortals would donate a certain amount of blood each year, depending on how many vampires there were in the area, and this would sustain them.
New technology had been developed that could allow for blood to be kept for long periods of time, but still have the life-sustaining effect for a vampire. With the treaty, this technique was now utilized to its fullest.
Now, not everyone was agreeing to this pact. There were people on both sides that were fully against making any agreement with the other.
These people were in the minority, many more being fed up with the feuding, and the treaty was carried out.
That had been over five-hundred years ago and today both species could say that the times were good. The blood donations were given in sufficient amounts and humans were no longer prey to the creatures of the night.
The vampire and human lords were in charge of making sure the treaty was followed down to the letter, and for the most part it was obeyed. There were a few small instances that would arise from time to time, but nothing major had occurred.
One thing that had not changed after the Treaty of Blood, for so it was called, was the racism between the two peoples. Vampires still took humans as mates, but to do so would alienate the human from the rest of the mortal population. There were certain areas that only vampires or humans should congregate in, for fear of a good beating at the least, and typically there were shops that specifically catered to each species. Things such as these, and more, were common in any town that contained each people.
In a certain manor, far from any village or town, there was a young child who was a maid. This manor belonged to one of the vampire lords described earlier. She'd been raised in the house since birth, her parents having died in an epidemic. Her name was Meryl Stryfe.
The little girl wasn't what you would call a beauty, but neither was she ugly. She had raven-black hair, was a tad smaller than was usual for her age, and had an open face so that everyone could always tell what she was thinking. The only thing that set her apart from a normal girl was her eyes. They were a gray-violet that seemed to darken when she was angry.
The owner of the large house she lived in rarely visited, coming only once every ten years. Even then master Knives only stayed for a few months. Most of his time was spent at his other estates. The young girl had been born two years after the master's last visit and had never laid eyes on him.
Not much was known about the Master, as the servants called him. The house itself was thought to be more than a thousand years old and he had been the one to build it. Another fact that the staff liked to talk of was that they had never seen him with a bride. Usually vampires of such status had many, but never had they seen him with one.
Now, one night, the child was walking the halls of the mansion. She'd gotten up in the middle of the night for a glass of water, but she'd lost her way on the return trip. Usually she always knew where she was, but tonight it felt as if there were doors where there shouldn't be and that new hallways had appeared out of nowhere.
The eight-year-old was starting to become frantic when a little patch of light caught her attention. A door up ahead was slightly ajar and a glow could be seen through the crack. She walked slowly up to the opening and poked her head into the room.
The room was unlike any she'd been allowed in. This one held strange, but expensive objects. The floor was covered in rugs and the walls were full of rows upon rows of books. She'd never seen so many volumes in one area. Furniture in the room was meager, though, comprising of only a highback chair and a little table. These were sitting in front of a roaring fire, the only light in the entire room.
The child thought the room was empty for a moment, but as she took a closer look at the chair, she saw that there was an arm on the armrest. Her plan had been to ask for some help from whoever was in the room, but the eerie feeling she got from the person in the chair changed her mind. With her decision made the little one tried to take a step back into the hallway. Much to her terror, her feet wouldn't budge! No matter how hard she tried, they wouldn't obey her command to move!
She was about to cry out to the person in the chair, regardless of their creepiness, when her feet finally moved. Unfortunately, they were moving in the wrong direction. Instead of going into the hallway, she found herself being propelled forward, into the room.
The little girl was terrified and tears were falling down her small cheeks and her eyes were squeezed shut. Soon she felt herself stop and she opened one eye to see where her legs had taken her. Both eyes flew open when she realized that she was now standing in front of the chair, her back to the fire.
Indeed, there was a person sitting on the piece of furniture. A man, to be more specific. He had cropped blonde hair with the coldest looking set of blue eyes she'd ever seen. The fire behind her was reflected in them, as he wasn't looking at her, and she felt as if she would be seared by their gaze if he looked her way.
He wore a silk shirt that was partially unbuttoned, with silk pants to match. His feet were bare. In one hand he held a wine glass, lazily held in midair. He seemed to be absentmindedly swishing around liquid in glass. If he was standing, she guessed that he would be very tall and by his appearance he looked no more than twenty-five years of age.
As she finished her cursory examination of him, the movement of the glass suddenly stopped.
Her eyes had been on the red liquid and when it stopped moving she quickly turned her gaze toward the man in the chair. As she watched him, she saw only his eyes swivel until they were looking right at her. Only his eyes moved, his face didn't even twitch. The girl shivered at the creep picture it made.
This entire episode was taking its toll on the little girl's nerves and she was trembling where she stood.
Suddenly, the man before her spoke, "What are you doing here?"
His voice was as cold as his eyes and she shivers yet again.
After taking a few gulps of air, she gathered enough courage to answer him. "I...I was lost."
He narrowed his eyes at her and asked another question. "You are trembling. What are you afraid of?"
The little girl almost didn't hear his question, so surprised with another discovery was she. As the man had spoken, the child had seen that his two canines were longer than the rest of his dentures, just like a vampire's were.
A growl from him broke her out of her trance and she quickly answered truthfully. "You."
This reply got a mirthless chuckle out of him, the sound sending chills down her spine. He abruptly set down the glass on the table beside him and returned his gaze to her.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked as he leaned back in the chair, resting his chin on a palm.
The interrogation was taking its toll on what was left of the little girl's courage. This time she only managed to shake her head 'no'.
He didn't tell her either, only seemed to inspect her with his eyes. Slowly, he stretched out a hand and gently cupped her face.
The child looked at him apprehensively as he stroked her cheek with his hand. Then he moved his exploration of her person to her hair, and down to her lower back. Throughout this entire time she was standing as still as a statue, her legs still unmoving and the rest of her petrified by fear.
Suddenly, in one quick movement he used the hand behind her to take her onto his lap.
The girl was startled by this unexpected move and gasped. She also found that she could now move her entire body and tried to jump off of his lap. By wrapping both his arms around her, he trapped her body against him.
Though her body was restrained, the child still squirmed and struggled, trying to get out of his hold.
His voice drifted down to her, "Calm down, child. I'm not going to harm you."
The authoritativeness in his tone told her that he would not tolerate her struggles any longer and she wisely stopped.
After that he didn't say anything and turned his attention back to the merrily crackling fire. She was sitting sideways in his lap and watched the fire being reflected in his eyes, once again.
What seemed like hours later, it didn't seem as if he was going to do anything and she relaxed her rigid body a little. She glanced around the room again and took furtive glances at him every now and then, but all he did was stare into the flames.
Eventually, the late night started to catch up to the small child. It had to have been well after two o'clock in the morning and the stressful night had made her even more tired.
A few yawns escaped her and she couldn't help but notice how warm the man was. He also smelled nice, like the old books that she so loved to read. She unconsciously snuggled closer into his silk shirt, and consequently his chest, as drowsiness fell heavily upon her. No matter how hard she tried, her eyelids eventually closed and she fell into a heavy slumber.
As she drifted, she didn't notice that his arms had tightened around her in response to her cuddling.
The man moved his gaze from the fire and looked down at her. This time his eyes held a hint of curiosity and he silently looked her over as she slept.
A few minutes later, he stood slowly, careful not to wake her, and walked over to the door. Standing there was a servant and he silently handed the girl to him. They exchanged a short glance before the servant bowed, careful of the child in his arms, and left, taking the girl back to her room.