Chapter 01:

Empty Locket

"D…don't come any closer!" The silver haired man inched backwards, his spine connecting with hard red bricks of the alley wall. His worn out hands reached to his side, searching for an object, any weapon that could ward off the cold-hearted monster. Grabbing a half broken bottle he waved it at the dark figure.

A sadistic smile spread across the face of the looming body. "You think that will kill me? Don't make me laugh." Taking a sniff of the surrounding dank garbage dump, alley walls fresh with the smell of graffiti, and the cowering man; the black figure cocked its head to the side and frowned. "You wreak of alcohol filthy mongrel. Trying to forget about something?"

Brown eyes widened in fear not wanting to accept the impending death that looked down at him with heated fury. "It wasn't my fault! I … they made me do it!" He cried, salty tears mixing with the sweat and grime on his drunken face. Quivering he pulled his legs closer to his body seeking warmth, some sort of redemption and protection; not only from the person wanting to kill him, but also from himself.

Taking a waft at the night air the figure spoke in an unforgiving voice. "I can smell blood on your hands, their blood." Crimson eyes glared at the crouched man, a right thumb gently stroking a gleaming dagger. "No amount of remorse can save you now." It spat bitterly. Sharp fangs gleamed beneath the crescent moon. "Too late for redemption." The figure whispered blowing a puff of warm breath on the exposed flesh before impaling sharp fangs onto the dirtied neck. The clean dagger pierced through his beating heart, staining its glossy blade with oozing blood.

His eyes rolled into the back of his head, only whites showed. Images flashed across his mind, memories, things that happened that he instigated. It was right. Whatever this creature was, this hunter, it wasn't evil; he was the only evil.

"Papa don't leave!" The child cried holding onto the middle-aged man's leg. With a harsh kick from his strong legs the little girl gasped in pain as she was flung against the wooden door, her left stump hand caressing her sprained ankle. Tears streaked down her face as a tiny fist released the soft fabric of his pant.

"Why would I want to stay with you and your pitiful mother? Look at her! She disgusts me!" He hollered glancing at the woman in the corner rocking on her heels and drawing imaginary circles in the air. Quickly he shoved past the injured girl. At the door he stopped and took one last look at her, almost regretfully.

The child whimpered and bit back a wracking sob. She had to be strong. Her father hated weaklings.

Turning back the dark haired man removed the gold locket necklace from the young girl's neck. Clutching it in his hands with an almost painful grip, knuckles turning white. It was just an empty locket, no pictures of a happy family tucked neatly inside its storage compartment.

"It would have been better if you were never born, a pathetic little girl like you, and that good for nothing woman! I've put up with her enough! Who the hell asked her to take all those pills anyway? Stress? I was the only one putting the food on the damn table! It would be better if you just died, and take the child with you. Then I wouldn't have to worry anymore." He spat and turned away.

This time a bigger hand grasped the back of his shirt pulling him back. Turning his head he saw the panicked eyes of a woman, of the fiend that now inhibited his wife's body. The woman who had given birth to his deformed child, taken too many pills out of depression, and led him to a diminishing existence. He had been a good husband hadn't he? He had been patient with her after she gave birth, worked for the sake of the family that was falling apart, and silently watched as his wife drowned her insecurities and sorrows with pills. But she had gone too far, at night, watching him with those haunting eyes of a crazed lunatic. He couldn't look at her, couldn't stand to be in the same room.

That blasted child was the cause of all his torment. Born with a deformed arm, but with such soulful green eyes. She would stare at him; ask him if he loved her mother, if he loved her. But he couldn't answer, couldn't tell her of how tired he was of their pathetic excuse of a family. And when the sickening black hatred in his heart grew, slowly into a disease, he let it take over, and kill the man they had once known as a father and a husband.

He pushed his wife onto the ground, watched as she desperately grabbed her child. Her hands patted the little girl's hair as though it belonged to a doll. She rocked back and forth singing an incoherent lullaby. Pitiful.

Grabbing a lighter from his back pocket he flicked it on and tossed it next to the woman, where the spilt alcohol she had yanked from his hands earlier lay. The flames from small quickly grew larger licking the bodies of the mother and child. Both never moving, only crying, screaming in pain, and waiting for him to come back to save them. Not bothering to look back he exited the soon to be burning house. He didn't want to watch it burn down, with the two lives trapped inside.

He didn't want to watch them disappear, along with the memory of his humanity.

Dark red liquid dripped from the dying man's neck, for a second its color looked pure, but only for a second, before turning into a black, as ugly and thick as tar.

The dark shadow licked his lips and dropped the dead corpse. Crimson eyes became a deep blue and the sharp canines turned back into glimmering white teeth, forever stained with red.

It was a pity how humans were so weak. If the man had taken some time off work and spent it with his family, his wife had the potential of healing. In the end, he had no one to blame for his misery but himself. The figure mused watching the body disintegrate.

As quickly as it took its prey, it was gone. The body left behind no longer in existence. Gone, along with the soul that died long before the flesh. Only a pile of ash left in its place, and a forgotten locket amidst the cinders.

You lived in misery

Too weak to face your own mistakes

Now you're free

To fly away from pain, happiness, and life

To feel nothing…


Serena gasped, eyes flying open as her sweaty palm loosened its grip on the Egyptian cotton bed sheets. Instinctively her fingers caressed the base of her neck where a crescent moon birthmark marred the peachy flesh. "It stings," She hissed gently, rubbing it gingerly with her fingertips. Slowly the stinging sensations disappeared leaving a slight tingling on her skin.

"It's only a dream Serena, get a hold of yourself." She muttered reassuringly. The dreams that began in the year of her fifteenth birthday had become increasingly realistic. She felt as if she had woken up from a different reality, not just her livid imagination. As if accompanying the haunting dreams, upon waking up she would feel a sting where her birthmark resided. Thinking nothing more of the matter Serena sighed and slumped back on the bed.

Her dreams were slowly coming to life. This time his form was more defined. The dark blur was no longer a blur but the figure of a man bigger than herself with hair as black as the night, and eyes a haunting red. Lusting, wanting … to hurt her?

Licking her chapped lips she lifted her small frame from the bed and wandered into her kitchen.

Flicking the switch on the young woman was relieved when the room flooded with light. She hated the dark, hated the way the shadows engulfed her body. Darkness left her vulnerable; not being able to see where she was going was like stepping into the unknown, where the control was no longer hers. Slowly she opened the heavy doors of the fridge and retrieved a milk carton and a clean glass from the wooden cabinet. Pouring herself a glass of milk she cursed when her hand slipped and a bit of liquid dropped on the countertop.

"Like a screwed up romance novel." She muttered to herself, heating up the glass of milk. "Except this guy wants to kill me instead of sex me up." Serena scoffed wiping the remaining spilt liquid with a dry rag.

"Some women get good dreams about sexy men seducing them, I get to dream about a sexy blur out for my blood. What crappy karma." She laughed lightheartedly at her luck in love, or lack thereof.

Serena had graduated from college early, ready to pursue her career in journalism and like most women, find her soul mate. It never did work out quite as she had planned. At the young age of twenty-three she was an aspiring journalist working for a local newspaper in Tokyo. As successful and beautiful as she was, it meant nothing when the empty patch she needed to fill still remained vacant.

Taking a sip of the warm milk she settled the clear glass on her dining table. Eyes glanced tiredly at the ticking clock on the cream colored wall opposite of her seat. Two in the morning, she had a feeling sleep would not visit anytime soon.

Sighing resignedly she flipped through a magazine lying open on the dining table. Nothing caught her eye until a small column filled with pictures of celebrities 'having fun' popped up, a picture of Darien Shields among faces of the many stars.

He was sitting on a couch with a lighthearted laugh on his face. A twinge of pink on his cheeks from alcohol perhaps. His hand held a glass of wine. The picture was hazy but Serena could make out the small lotus symbol on the back of a napkin.

"Lotus?" She muttered to herself, searching through her memory for any particular clubs that used a lotus as their symbol. Vaguely she remembered hearing from Mina about a quaint old place in the outskirts of the city. Quickly discarding the magazine she moved to her computer and shook the mouse to stop its hibernation. She searched for the club on the web.

"The joys of modern technology." She smiled thankfully while waiting for the page to load. At the center of the page in between the words Karma and Lounge was a black and white outlined symbol of a lotus.

"Bingo!" She squealed excitedly settling back in her seat for a few minutes before finally feeling the lack of sleep seep through her body. Suddenly insomnia didn't seem much of a problem anymore. Shutting off her computer, Serena headed back to her bedroom.

Laying down on the soft cotton bed she let eyes close, and her mind for the first time drift off into a dreamless slumber. Darien Shields would have to wait.


Trained eyes stared out the balcony of the second floor room. The glow of the moon flittered through the open glass doors, illuminating the silk covered bed with a natural glow. The gentle night breeze blew past the fluttering cotton curtains, tenderly caressing a pensive face of a contemplative man.

Six weeks. Six weeks of living like a madman, awakening day after day with a lust for something unknown. Since he had awakened from his dormant state inside his mortal reincarnation; food and drink, worldly pleasures like money, power, and sex no longer quenched his thirst and satiated his hunger. Retreating himself from the world of humans his mortal conscience had been living in, he began the search for his friends, the ones that still remained. Only a few had been found, the rest had all died.

Picking up the glass of red wine on the drawer next to his bed, he swirled it in a lazy motion. Eyes fixed on the swirling red liquid. It suddenly dawned on him that he would soon have to make a reappearance. Humans were too nosy, oftentimes sticking their noses where they didn't belong. The result of their gossip and search parties were a trivial matter, but no matter how small, he hated hindrances. It wouldn't settle well with them if he disappeared for too long. Right at the moment however, he had other thoughts on his mind.

Temporarily his seemingly unending thirst had been quenched, leaving behind an empty feeling at the pit of his gut. The nauseating aftertaste of death lingered on the tip of his tongue like a bitter reminder of his eternal curse. The red wine could not wash away the taste. Darien didn't know whether he should have been thankful for running into his prey during his midnight walk, or not. Immediately when he smelt the dirty blood of the man who had given up hope, patience, and part of himself to invite the darkness, Darien's senses heightened. When the intoxicated man bumped into him, his thoughts transferred into Darien, the thoughts of murder, of self-pity, and a hint of regret. Instinctively all he could do was focus on the drunken fool. And as if he watched the scene as a bystander, he witnessed himself take another body. Tainted or not the man once had a pure soul. It was a pity he broke down so easily. Darien mused taking another sip at the bittersweet wine.

He hated killing, hated the flavor of blood, and yet ironically would cease to exist without it. It was intoxication far stronger than any dose of alcohol could cause. To his kind, it was simply the elixir of life.

Darien licked his lips tasting the remnants of the defiled blood. The blood of a person who had given into darkness, it was the life force of an empty shell. It was the only type of blood he would ever take, besides hers. Her blood would be far more pleasant to drink.

"Serenity" The vampire called out into the night. "You can't hide."

I'll find you and take you to hell with me…


Yay! First official chapter of the story! It was supposed to be longer but I decided I liked how it ended here so... I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter! Seems like this story will be longer than I anticipated. The next installment will be coming to a computer screen near you! Until then, tell me what you think so far?