It was a blustry day in Mid-winter that our story truly began. The cold, cruel winds came from ever direction and attacted the tiny village with vicious fury. The village itself was drab, an ugly and plain little place. It was such a place that it is not worthy of noting; such a boring little town you would not even know its name. There was a thinlayer of snow covering the red mud that usually served as a ground. The clouds were heavy with the promise of more to come. The townspeople all knew that many of the tiny, unsightly buildings would be in disrepair by summer. They would have been invaded by large snow drifts that would pile up and threaten to swallow the town into its cold belly. Tiny grains of snow would worm their way in through the cracks of the walls and begin their work like minature bandits.

Yes, it was a remarkable town only for its very unremarkability. Not quite the place you would expect to find a lover of great beauty. The townspeople were just as the town was. There was no trace of youth among them, and what was there seemed to be scarred and disfigured. It was a town that none could have been content in besides those who were just as ugly as it. The women had no fairness, no curves to their shape. They were all sad and tired; and the younger ones blended in with the men so well it was hard to tell them apart. Their faces were all long and filled with desolution. They all knew that there would only be so many winters for their poor small little town. It was a terrible little place to find yourself. Yet, this is where the first of all vampires found himself that day. Although he was appalled at the lack of anything with any worth, he could not turn around and leave. In this awful little place, he felt something that called out to him. There was a calling in this place that he could not turn and walk away from. It was the one that would help him to save his brother from the monster that he had become, of this he felt sure. It was a dreary thought that one worthy of his gift would come from the place he rode through now. He could only hope that the one was not too terribly ugly. Everytime he thought of it, he was loathe to make immortal something that would only serve as an eyesore to the world.

The place had a smell to it like rotted food and human waste; it created almost a taste to the air. Markus wrinkled his nose and twisted his brows downward in a grimace. He wished that he could turn and flee from this sickly little place. He pulled his cloak closer to him although the hood remained where it was against his back. The wind nipped and beat against his cheeks, not knowing that it had no affect on this creature that rode against it. His horse was tired however, and its eyes were half shut from both exhaustion and attempt to keep the snow and dirt out. His hoofs beat a steady pattern against the snowy mud. The respirations of the beast were growing weaker and weaker; the animal would never make another trip and it would be a miracle if he finished the trek to the inn that was his destination. Sighing to himself, the vampire, although there was no name for his kind in those days, hurried on toward the town plaza where they would find the nameless little inn that he would sleep the next morning through inside. His horse's heart beat slower as they walked. He seared silent words of encouragement into the animal's head. It wasn't that much farther after all. His sensitive ears fixed upon the sound of coins exchanging hands, the clank of cups of cheap drink ..all sounds he knew to be the tavern that served as an inn. It was a quiet place unlike most he had visited, there was scarecly a murmur of conversation. The people were not extrodinary in any aspect, and apparently this included speaking. What little he heard he listened to simply because it was too tiring to block it out.

As he pushed his horse on, he realized just how tired he really was. He longed for a day's sleep, ut the blood of his father was so strong in his veins that the sunlight affected him little if at all. Therefore he pressed on day after day and night after night. He would rest a day in this terrible place, than he would continue his hunt for his brother. He was just at the Plaza when his mount gave out. It tumbled over into the snow in a great heap. Markus leapt from the falling back, and landed gracefully on his feet. He felt some pity that the creature was now dead. He left it lying in its place however, and continued on to the inn just across the plaza from him. His heavy boots crunched against the forming ice, and he knew that there would be a terrible winter storm in just a day or perhaps two if luck held out. He stepped through the threshold of the inn, a blast of heat from the glowing fire in the hearth pressing into his cheeks. He was indifferent to either heat or cold. Still he crossed to the tavern counter and leaned toward the tender, catching his attention. The mummur of conversation had halted, and all eyes were focused on him. His eyes fixed upon a young barmaid with a dirty face, 'Go back to work..there is no need to stare at this stranger..he is no different from the other men served here everyday.' For a moment, she seemed to resist, but ever so slowly she returned to her work, her eyes lowered in embarassment for stopping for no reason at all. The others in the place followed her, a bit confused at why they had stopped and stared at the man who was now headed up the stairs in the back of the place, obviously renting a room.

The room was small and dirty, but he was assured that it was the best the inn had to offer. Markus had come to expect the best..and although this certainly was not the finest of rooms, he would have to be content knowing it was the nicest thing they had to offer. His eyes took in the tiny room that appeared to be entirely grey. The fire that burned in the hearth gave the place a red tint, however even the blankents of the bed were grey with age. There was one window that showed a view of the dirty street below. It was nothing remarkable, but it was a place where he could rest his head. It was from the window in this ugly, little room that he would see the one that he searched for.

It was mid-day before he awoke and could sleep no more. The smell in the air was too rancid, and Markus knew that he had no choice but to move on. The sun was still hidden behind thick, grey clouds; he could probably make it to the next village before the snow fall grew too heavy. He wasn't concerned really, after all he wasn't human. The idea of walking around in a heavy snow wasn't one he liked. He doubted he could find a suitable horse in a town like the one he had come into. He made his way from the bed to the window, his eyes searching absently for nothing in particular. It was at that moment that he found her. She was standing in the plaza engaged in conversation with another woman, she was laughing. Her face was dirty and her hair was not exactly clean, it was strung around her face. She was unkept, but there was no denying that it was her. She smiled, showing a row of dazzling white teeth; he pressed his hand to the foggy glass without realizing he had done it. The ragged blue dress that she wore had seen better days, but he did not have to know her to know that she was born to be dressed in finery. There was a power and assurance in her stance and her way of moving that made him sure of his first impression of her. He watched as she turned slightly, sensing someone watching her. Her eyes were a vibrant shade of green, they met his own and she frowned. She knew that he was no ordinary man. His eyes seemed to grow more brilliant in their shade of blue as he watched her; the predator in him knew that the moment was soon to come. He would have to act quickly and silently.

It took him less than a minute to get from his room into the plaza. He stood for a few moments, directly in her sight line, and she did watch him. Her eyes narrowed curiously, his lips curved upward, but she did no seem alarmed. She calmly bid farewell to the woman who was still carrying on unaware that she was not heard by her friend. She said something very low, Markus could have picked out the words if he wished, but his full attention was focused upon the woman who was even at that moment thinking of the stranger that was watching her. When the unattractive woman that had been speaking with the woman swept herself away, a bit annoyed at her childhood friend's rude behaviour. Soon only the two of them remained in the part of the town that should have been crowded. His boots clumped against the steps as he started toward her. He made an attempt of not seeming menacing, he did not wish to frighten his prey, and yet even unwillingly she took a step backwards from him. She was not afraid, but he noticed a slight tension in her shoulders as she poised herself to spring away should anything become amiss. Her mind explained to her feebly that she could always scream if this stranger was not as benign as he attempted to seem. She had grown up in this town, surely someone would come should she cry for help. He wished that he could tell her that he would never give her the chance.

"Good afternoon, sir." She spoke in a musical voice that held a maturity not found in women her age. It was deep and somehow bell-like in the same note. He smiled revealing to her his startling dental oddities. She gasped, but quickly stiffled anything that could be read as fear. She kept herself under control perfectly. He had to admire that in her. All the same when he raised held his hand out to take her's in his own, she was reluctant about handing it over to him. His finger touched the vein on her wrist, putting a slight pressure onto it. The action did not change her noticeably, but he planted the suggestion in her mind knowing that his handshake was enough to persuade her to do as he asked, at least to an extent.

"Do not be afraid, trust me, I will not harm you." She took in his words for a moment, swipeing her dark hair from her forehead and smiling trustingly. She had beguiling eyes, they begged for his dark kiss although she did not know it yet. "I despise being so very forward, however I couldn't help noticing you from my room.." He allowed himself to trail off, feigning embarassment and lust. He was sure that she did not entirely believe him, although to anyone else it would have been convincing.

"Than you have my apologies..I am married, sir. Good day to you.." He frowned. She was sharp-witted and intelligent. He had to think of something quickly.

"I am not at all suprised..you are the most lovely creature I have seen in this town..have you any children?" Markus asked the question before he could stop himself. This woman would be a creature of the night, she would help him to help his brother. He could not afford to lose a canidate so very perfect for the position. He did not want to know if she had a family, he did not want to have any reason to show her mercy. Yet, he found himself waiting for the awnser. She turned, flushing with maiden purity beneath the layers of soot and grime.

"No, I have only been married a year and so far we have not been so blessed. You flatter me sir, please do me the honor of knowing your name?" Many women would have thought his question was much to forward, and yet this one did not see any reason to think it so. She was bold, he realized that simply from her expression. Her tiny rosebud lips twisted as she fought the smile that he so longed for her to show him.

"I am Markus.." He took a few steps, gesturing with his fingers for her to walk with him. She followed his unspoken instructions perfectly..and he knew that he had her where he wanted her. She would walk with him, she would obey his commands as long as they were subtle..and he would change her. He kept her engaged in conversation, as they neared the edge of the small town, moving north although he had no destination in mind at the moment. The forests that surrounded the obscure little place were perfect no matter which way they went. "Tell me your..no actually I would rather you didn't tell me your name.." She seemed puzzled by all of this and he quickly began with another question before she found some break in which to steer herself from him. "How many years have you graced this earth?" She flushed but did not give the awnser that was so common for her gender.

"Less than twenty-five, and more than twenty, sir. And yourself?" He laughed, she was more than bold. She was fascinating and witty. She was sharp and new. He had never met a woman that was so perfect a line between charming and scathing. He had picked her well; not that he could really say he had picked her. Her pulse had called to him; it had beat with a rhythm that had so closely matched his own.

"Many more than that..many more."

"I believe I should be heading home..my husband will be.." She allowed her voice to fade, her eyes darting nervously around the forest as she realized that she was not where she should have been. With extrodinary percision, he reached out and scarecly using a fraction of his vampiric strength, he tapped his hand against her temple. Her pupils widened for a moment in suprise, and her expression seemed confused as if she had been betrayed. Her innocent nature had cost her everything she was sure. He sensed something else that brought both a wave of satisfaction and one of guilt over him, finally she showed just a small bit of fear. He stroked her hair as he caught her falling body in his arms. He gathered against him and started off toward the nearest village at a pace that would have made anyone wonder why he chose to ride a horse of any speed. It was more than two days travel on horseback, however Markus and the woman he carried in his arms made it there by sundown. Once there he quickly learned of a greedy young lord, and negotiated the use of his second, unoccupied home several miles outside of town. A considerable amount of gold changed hands, but he could tell the man was sincere when he said that he would tell no one of their exchange. The young man more than likely suspected that the money had come to him by an unmoral way and therefore could be seized should anyone come to the knowledge.

When the woman awakened she was in a lavish bedroom larger than the entire home she and her husband shared. She sat up immediately, her heart pounding as she tried to remember what had happened. It came to her slowly that she had been abducted by a seemingly gentlemen of considerable wealth. Her eyes scanned the room and she wondered how long she had been asleep and how far from her home she truly was. Glancing down she could see a black stain of soot on the expensive, fine satin pillow her head had rested on. She thrust the blanket that covered her thin frame away from her and steadily removed herself from the large four poster bed. She moved on shaking legs, stopping to grip the bed post to keep from tumbling to the ground. A soft moan escaped her lips, as she pressed her hand against her temple in an attempt to stifle the ache there. No one was in the room, of that she was certain. However she could see a large tub of water near her, it was still steaming, hinting that someone had been in very recently. It had been an impossibly long time since she had had a warm bath. It was tempting, however she was concerned that the man who had stolen her away from her life might enter at any moment.

She was correct in thinking this, for moments later Markus silently let himself into the large room. He made no noise as he crossed the ornate rugs that made the place seem even more elegant. "I thought that you were awake, I heard you moving around." She lowered one magnificently slender eyebrow and moved slowly, putting the bedpost between the two of them.

"I was very careful to be quiet.." He smiled inwardly, although his face remained expressionless. She sensed that something was amiss, what a clever girl.

"You did a remarkable job..any mortal would never have heard you..I have thought for a long time on what I should call you.." She pursed her lips and he could tell she was going to interrupt him.

"I have a name!" He held his flawless, pale hand up and smiled. Although her lips trembled and her hands shook violently in rage. She felt degraded although he hadn't meant to make her feel so. He wanted to explain that to her, but she was so angry that he wasn't sure if she would listen to him. He moved toward her slowly, delibrately making her back away. She stumbled slightly, he watched her fall through the air, darting foreward to grasp her wrists and pull her foreward. She lay helplessly suspended, should he release her she would topple to the floor, she could not fight back other than to grab his hand and attempt to pull herself right. His feet were so close to her that she could not stand properly without falling. Her eyes teared up and Markus reached his cold hand out to stroke her dirty cheek. A sweet tear ran down her face and some of the dirt washed away, giving him a peek at the peach skin beneath the dirt. He smiled as kindly as he could and helped her into a standing position, keeping a firm grip on her wrist.

"You had a name, but now that you are mine..it is a new life and you are in need of name that suits you." She flushed an angry scarlet and he couldn't help but chuckle darkly. "Amelia..do you like it? Amelia, I believe that is what you are meant to be..Amelia.." He repeated the word liking the static electricity that seemed to coat his tongue when he said it. He watched as she mouthed the word and knew at once that she liked it. Her face seemed to pale a little and her terrified eyes studied him. "I will give you an explanation once you are clean..I brought you fresh garments..they are in the armoire. Do not refuse my orders, I am far stronger than anyone you have ever met I assure you..you need not have any fear of me interrupting you. When you are dressed properly, simply knock three times upon your door and I will hear you."

She nodded because she could do nothing else, she was too stunned. Markus turned and left her to stand and think of what he had said to her. The moment the door shut more hot, salty tears spilled down her small face, and she stifled a sob. What had she fallen into? What was this man? Was he mad? Yet she had seen the speed in which he moved and she had seen the strength that he displayed..she couldn't help but believe that he was something other than human. The thought both intrigued and frightened her. At first she began to formulate an escape plan, however the more she tried to plan something the more foolish it all seemed. If what he said was true, and it must have been really, he would hear any attempt she made. Even if she made it through the door of the manor, he was quick enough to capture her and perhaps kill her. Her terror began to subside quickly as she reasoned with herself to remain calm. Hysteria rarely if ever, helped those in danger. She felt for sure that she was in danger, although she imagined that if he had wanted to kill her he already would have done it. What else could a man want from a woman when he stole her the way she had been stolen? Did he want her in the way that men so often wanted women? Surely a man of his status and wealth, she felt sure that he was not an ordinary poor man, could have his choice of women. So what was it that he so desired of her? He had told her that he would explain everything..she decided that she would wash the filth from her body as he had asked. He was strong and he would surely force her to do his will if she did not willingly do so. Besides it had been so long since she had been really clean.

It took her over an hour to properly wash and perfume herself. When she opened the armoire, tears for her husband were leaking down her face. She had loved him dearly, and now she had resigned herself to the fact that she would probably never see him again. She wept for her mother and her father whom she would never again see. She wept for her brothers and her friends and everyone she had left behind. She wept for her lost name. She was Amelia now. She gasped as she saw what was inside the armoire. It was the most beautiful dress that she had ever laid eyes on; something fit for a princess she thought anxiously. No one she had ever known had owned anything so very elegant before. A long, vibrant red gown..the color of blood, with shimmering gold fabric an inch and a half thick along the low dipped collar, and across the waist. The scarlet gown fit perfectly when she put it own, almost as if it were made only for her. She could hardly help admiring herself in it. She had brushed her hair until it shimmered and shone without a tangle to marr its beauty. She had never known anyone who had looked so exquisite. Feeling nervous, she knocked against the wood with her pale hands three seperate times. It took just a moment and Markus had entered the room.

His eyes raked over her body with a slowness that made her flush once more. He gave her an appreciative smile, and studied her face carefully. She had fine features, beautiful features. Her eyes were almond shaped and a shimmery green that seemed velvet in texture, they came to a fine slant at the ends. She had long lashes and brows that women in the future would attempt to immitate various ways. Her lips were a rosey pink against her peach flesh, and her cheek bones were even when she wasn't embarassed, dotted with a natural flush. He had picked her very well, she was beautiful. "Who are you?" Her simple words made him stop for a moment. Who was he? What was he?

"I am Markus..I am eternal..I live forever feeding upon the life force of others. Don't fear, Amelia, I do not wish to murder you and feast upon your blood." His reassurance was pointless, she did not seem afraid. He marvelled at this woman. The bravest living soul would have been terrified at that moment, however she simply watched him without expression. Yet, he could read into her. She was curious, she believed him..she had seen to much not to believe his words were true. She almost longed to share in his power with him..and for that a tremor of pride rushed through him. She was the strangest woman..ideal for the purpose he intended her for. "I am Markus..collector of beautiful things.." His expression confirmed that she was one of those things that he would collect, and a small smile touched her features..a look of awe crossing them.

"And what do you do with these beautiful things once you have captured them?" She raised her brow, his own pulse quickened with her low, sultry voice. She would be marvelous at seducing her victims..at drawing them in for the kill. She would make a wonderful immortal.

"I immortalize them." It was at that moment that she really became herself, when Amelia truly emerged fully born. The glitter in her eyes changed from innocence to expectation. The longing that he felt from her changed from escape to power. She wanted what only he could give her, and how willingly he would give it to her. She would be his no matter what came to pass, she would always be his after this night. She leaned closer to him, pressing her palm to his chest and gazing deep into his bright blue eyes.

"I will become as you are?" He nodded, trying not to let himself be intimidated by this new born seductress. She lowered her eyes for a moment, her tongue darting out to wet the corners of her lips. His hand lifted and rested against her chin, tilting her face up toward him. "How did you come about? Are there many like you?" Her heart raced and he knew that she felt a sort of fear at how the transformation would come about. She was frightened by what would be done to her.

"My kind has no name..I will explain to you my origin some other night..tonight I have something else on my mind. Ask for your last question..I know of no others like me. I am the first as you will be the second." There was another long pause as she let all of the information soak into her mind.

"I will be the first woman of a race with no name. I will be the queen of this blood drinking race..I will be the goddess of these godless creatures." It was her awnser to his unspoken question, a question whose awnser meant nothing to him. If she had refused him, he would have taken her blood and made her what he was without her consent..with her consent it would be much easier. This had what he had sensed in her..this predator. He had sensed her ability to become this strong being, and it attracted the monster in him, knowing that this was one who could match his lust for blood and power. "Tell me, how will you make me what you are?" She did not ask if it would be painful, athough the thought crossed her mind. She was not afraid of pain, if it meant that she would live for eternity.

"It may or may not be painful, I am not sure. However I will..as animalistic as this may sound, bite your neck with my fangs..than I will allow you to drink from me, the Source. The blood that runs in my veins will make you powerful.. it will allow you to walk in the light of day unscathed. You must trust me however, allow me to do what must be done." She nodded slowly, her eyes focused on something distant. He knew that she was thinking of her husband, but those regrets would fade with time. He would make her see the glory that he could give her. He gestured to the bed, "You might be more comfrotable if we sat." She could see that he was trying to make her feel a bit more at ease, but the tension that had entered her body would not go away. She was more than terrified, as excited as she was. She crossed to the side of the bed and seated herself down. Her legs folding under her until she was resting entirely upon the bed, the blood colored satin flowing around her. Markus took a long time to decide to sit down. Their thighs sat against one another, as he tried to decide how best to do this. He had only used his fangs to destroy in the past, never to give eternity to someone else. It was ackward for the both of them, to sit in such an intimate way and know that their lives were about to become forever intangled.

Amelia closed her eyes and took a deep breath, sighing as if she thought it might be the last breath she ever took. She knew nothing about the man beside her, and yet here she was putting her life into his hands. He could be dangerous..the thought had crossed her mind. He could be insane..that had crossed her mind too. However what choice did she have but to play along with this man who had promised her something exquisite. "I should ask you to prove your claims..I won't. I am afraid." He leaned foreward, their noses very nearly touched as he spoke his next words, attempting to soothe her.

"Do not fear." He pressed one hand against the side of her neck that he would not be biting. She shook in his hands, and soon he was so close to her that she could feel his warm breath against her flesh. "Just rest your head against me," He commanded and she obeyed trying to regulate her breathing.

"It seems as if we are to make love..my heart is racing." He chuckled and sent another chill through her, she smiled. Amelia was proud to have made him laugh; happy to spread joy to him.

"Do you want me to make love to you? I warn you I am no Casanova." Her next breath came out shakily, and she gave him no reply. For a moment, Markus was unable to say anything or move. Part of her lusted for him; he was a being of power any woman in her position would feel some lust for him. She was beautiful..the thought of blood insighted his passions. He could feel the blood running over his tongue, and suddenly he did want her.

"My husband.." He silenced her, tilting her face toward him and pressing his lips hard against hers. Kissing Markus was odd, she could feel his teeth pressing against her lips. She could feel the power radiating from him.

"I am your husband now..your loyalties are to me." Their lips met furiously, his hands brushing against the skin that the gown left revealed. "Amelia..beautiful Amelia.."

Her fingers brushed the back of his neck, pulling him closer to her. His body crushed against hers as they lay together. "Your Amelia.." The sentiment roused something in him, and both his lust for blood and more became overwhelming.

When it was all finished, she lay against him breathless and tired. Her eyes drifting closed to snap open once again. He could no longer deny himself the pleasure of her sweet blood. Her head tilted to the side, and he held her close to him. His teeth sunk into her supple flesh and pulled at the blood there. She let out a pained gasp that quickly became a pleasured moan. He could not say for sure what she was feeling, but he was glad she was not crying out in pain.

When he had drunk his fill, he pressed his wrist to her mouth and let her drink and drink until her eyes seemed to glow red with his blood. All at once her eyes widened and she grasped his arms, clinging to him for dear life. It had begun..soon her body would die to be reborn. "Do not fear, Amelia, we are eternal..you and I.."