Mina knelt by the campfire, dark green dress clinging to her body and pooling over the snow-covered ground at her knees. Not that she needed the fire. The very blood in her veins warmed her body, made her impervious to the chill.

Her irises reddened slightly around the edges of her pupils as flakes of snow twirled around in the wind with even more intensity than before, as if heralding the arrival of them. And they were here now, she knew. They were others like her. They were her sisters.

Mina rose fluidly to her feet then stumbled, taken aback by a sudden assault on her senses. She threw back her head as she continued to stumble, arms flailing. Then, suddenly, everything sharpened. She straightened rigidly, her back to Van Helsing, and then she spoke.

"You have been so good to me, Professor," she murmured sweetly, a hint of maliciousness colouring her tone. Then she heard a female voice whispering to her, "Yes, sweet one. His blood is yours, if you want it. Take it, before he murders you."

Mina inclined her head slightly then turned slowly to face the man who was now her mortal enemy. Or perhaps he always had been. 'The Good Doctor' had, when it came down to it, murdered Lucy. Dear sweet Lucy, who had been her soul mate and her sister in all but blood.

Mina almost laughed when she recognised the small glint in his eyes. It was lust, of all things. Well, perhaps she could use this new discovery to her advantage.

"I know Lucy harboured secret desires for you. She told me," Mina intoned seductively, pulling at the bodice of her dress so that it revealed some of her cleavage. She knew Lucy would have forgiven her for the lie, were she in any condition to do so.

"I, too, know what men desire," she added as she stepped towards him with open arms. Lo and behold, he walked straight into the trap, sliding an arm around her waist and burying his face in her shoulder.

Mina's tone turned from seductive to furious as she uttered her next words; "Will you cut off my head and drive a stake through my heart as you did poor Lucy, you murdering bastard?" An animalistic growl rose in her throat as she finished speaking.

Van Helsing obviously realised his peril, for his head rose from her shoulder, and he attempted to back away. She already had his arm in a bruising, vice-like grip, however, and as he realised this, he began to speak, no, yell, in a desperate, slightly wild, tone.

"Not while I live, I've sworn… to protect you," he cried out. Mina's reply was to snarl, and begin to lower her mouth towards his throat. She stopped as movement from his free arm caught her eye, and managed to seize his wrist before he was able to burn her with the holy wafer he had taken from his pocket while she was speaking.

Van Helsing flinched with pain when her grip on his wrist tightened cruelly, and his fingers involuntarily loosened their hold on the wafer, so that it fell to the ground, where it was quickly lost beneath the falling snow.

Mina gave a bitter, mocking laugh, and then she lodged her fangs in his throat. She moaned with pleasure as warm, delicious blood slid down her throat. She had been hungry before, when the food she had been provided with had repulsed her, but now she knew what she had wanted, no, needed, and she knew she would never eat anything else again.

Van Helsing struggled at first, fighting until the end, but then he fell limp and his heart stopped beating. Only then did Mina relinquish her hold on him, allowing his lifeless body to fall motionless to the ground.

She stood as still as a statue, staring emotionlessly at the corpse of her first victim. There was no going back now. The only one who could have saved her from this fate was dead because of her… but she did not need saving. She had chosen this fate because of love, and she did not regret it.

With that in mind, she turned to meet the eyes of the three beautiful women who now stood before her. The one who stood at the forefront and appeared to be the leader inclined her head in a gesture of respect. "Countess," she greeted, almost reverent. The others curtseyed deeply.

Mina smiled kindly and reached out to touch the first woman's face. "My sisters," she whispered.

To Be Continued…