[A/N: Forgive me for going from present tense to past tense there, I apologize; this is my second Underworld fan fic, and as said before I own none of Underworld or their characters, except for Vinessa and my OCs; This is more of a pre-equal to "Underworld: Arithmetic of Judas" which I have only three chapters on but shall update soon, I really wanted to do this one first though as you can see; hope you enjoy this, please no flames :) *]

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`An armored covered horse comes galloping fast through the woods, leafs rustle underneath the horse's hooves as it runs at a rapid pace. The moon shines bright in the sky, there are no stars tonight. On top of the horse, an armored covered person is riding; a sword hooked on their side, covered with a velvet strap. A howling is heard, echoing throughout the woods. Now, the horse and its rider gallop out of the woodland area. A darkened castle appears only so far away. The howling is getting closer. They're coming at rapid speed. The ones who cannot change back to human. William's spawns. Lycans. The children of the moon.

Suddenly, they appear, inhuman creatures. The rider does not look back to see, but they know the Lycans have come. If even one of them gets close enough, it'll be over. The rider shall die. But the castle is so close now…

Now, it *is* time. The rider sits up higher, off of the saddle, their feet still within the stirrups. They take the gleaming sword out of the strap, whipping it back as one of the creatures jump. Two blades pop out of the sword's sides. Zipping back quickly; stabbing into the mid-air creature. That particular lycan tumbles to the side, hitting the cold ground dead. The two other lycans suddenly stopped in their tracks. Odd.

The horse stood up on it's hind legs, whinnying then going back on all fours. The rider quickly looked back, at the castle. Seeing Lucian at the top of the castle wall, looking this way, but of course. The horse galloped fast back to the castle. Torches lit bright on the outside as the wooden gate rose up. The horse slowly moving in with its rider. Once the gate lowered back down. Clicking down on some now crumpled leafs. The rider moved one leg over with the other, sliding off the horse gracefully. People watched, Lycan slaves and vampire guards. The rider took off silver armor helmet only to reveal a young, mid-thirties looking, beautiful woman. Bright sparkling blue eyes and light brown hair, pale dazzling skin. This person was well known. Vinessa. The forgotten elder.

Lycan slaves watched in suspsion and awe at her, they knew Vinessa was the wife of Viktor, the second made but no one knew that, Viktor had made sure. Markus made her then Viktor. Not the other way around. This being just a fact of this coven.

Vinessa slid her helmet down so it was underneath her arm, she held it close to her. Just as fast, Viktor, another elder, was walking up with four or more death dealers at his side. Wonderful. She was to be scolded again.

"You were told to stay within the castle walls."Viktor snapped, eyes blazing with annoyance. He was beyond angry "You deliberately disobeyed!"He stood only so many inches from Vinessa, staring her down.

"I know what you commanded, Viktor—"Vinessa began but was silenced with a slap to the face. With her head now turned, she breathed quietly before slowly looking back at Viktor. Suddenly his eyes seemed to soften, his voice taking on a hushed tone.

"You could have died. I'd be lost without you, Vinessa. You know that."He spoke so gently, as if it would hurt her if he talked any louder; his hand brushing softly against her skin. It tickled. Vinessa did not respond as her daughter, Sonja, would have. Vinessa knew better. He put a hand on her back gently, looking over at a guard.

"Take the horse to the stables."Then he looked back at Vinessa, both walked forward in silence. Vinessa wouldn't even look at him. This is how it was. If she defied him, disobeyed…there were consequences, punishment with a slap to the face or ravished unwillingly. Cruelty and Betrayal were things that Viktor was very good at.

The howling had stopped now, if this was a good thing or not, Vinessa did not know. All knew there were many beasts in the woods, hiding within the cliffs, sleeping on the rocks, waiting for the moment to strike. Many tried to get in, but few succeeded, even if they did get within the walls...they were quickly taken down...permanently.

They, Vinessa and Viktor, both entered the castle, some of the council members watched overhead as the two walked by. As both walked down the long darkened hallway, Vinessa heard Viktor sigh softly. He stopped moving, as did she. Her eyes had gone back to blue-gray now, less excited. Viktor's eyes remained blazing arctic blue. He stared at her for a few minutes, letting his right hand fingertips brush against her jawline, he let his other hand brushed against her left arm then softly to her stomach, the only part not protected by armor. It seemed like hours before he spoke.

"You should get all this off." He was referring to the armor "I'll send a servant in." She noticed he did not say he would come in, like usual. It was odd to her, and rather disturbing, to have Viktor watching in the shadows as a servant undressed her and fitted her with clothes, as if he expected her to try to leave the castle, escape. Like he did not trust her to begin with, she was an Elder but Viktor always said that it as a position that could be easily taken away by a simple command. A threat against her life...a warning as always when she defied him. This was not what love was suppose to be like, not at all.

"Are you not coming?"Vinessa already knew the answer but she asked anyway. Viktor actually seemed a little happy that Vinessa had asked that question, as if he thrived on it.

"No, my love; later."He spoke gently; cupping her face in his hands before, gently, just as he had spoke, kissing her softly on the forehead. Then backed away, going back to his cold stance, authority. It was a wonder that some of the council members were questioning Viktor's ruling, as if he were not fit enough to rule anymore...and he knew this, reason why he continued to abuse authority while he could, few questioned it. Viktor had a temper, that was well known, expansively with the lycan slaves.

"Tanis will be here soon as well." Then he turned, leaving out of view. A ery presence lingered in the air, even though Viktor no longer stood in front of her. It was more cold than usual. Not that the cold bothered her though.

Vinessa watched as he left, snapping her teeth together. Then with a turn of her heel she walked down the hallway, the clicking of her boots sounding off. Opening the bedroom door slowly, her head bended down slightly now. The door creaked loudly. Her eyelids fluttered as she entered the room.

She walked slowly over to her bed, her armor that she wore suddenly felt quite heavy. Weights of life on her shoulder. Vinessa removed the armor from her upper body quite quickly, she did not need a servant for that. She was sliding off the rest of the armor as there was a knock at the door, a servant girl quickly coming in, kneeling with her head down. Vinessa stood back up straight, looking at the young girl with no emotion, no pity or anything at all.

"You are late." Vinessa spoke softly but it was loud enough "Show me your face, girl." The servant looked up. She was blond and had green eyes. What was her name again?

"I am sorry, milady." She spoke very quiet, even for a human. She was a pretty little thing.

"What is your name?" Vinessa ignored the girl's apology, her eyes softening a little now, showing a small portion of emotion now "You have my permission to speak."

"Erika, Milady."She looked back down, Vinessa walked over quickly, appearing in front of the young servant, making the girl look up at her forcibly.

"Do not look away when you are not permitted to do so."Then just like that Vinessa let the girl go rather harshly, walking away back over to her bed. She could feel Erika's eyes on her now, good girl. Vinessa looked up, she could see the moon shining bright through her window. Full moon.

"I do not need you tonight, Erika." She could feel the shock vibrating off of that girl now, that Vinessa had called her by her name, not servant. Vinessa looked back at this young girl, quirking an eyebrow. Erika scattered to her feet, nodding her head.

"Thank you, Milady. Thank you." Then she quickly turned, leaving the room as if excited to the fullest, tickled that she was given this particular permission tonight. Hopefully, that girl did not mistake kindness for weakness. Vinessa's eyes lingered on the now once again wooden shut doors. Letting her eye lids drooped, uninterested in the doors, as she looked away she seemed to be tired, as she let one hand linger on a bedpost. Vinessa sighed, sitting down softly onto her bed, not making a sound, laying back, only needing a small fraction of moving to get her head to rest properly on the large comfortable pillow. Her left hand laying on the left side of her head, on the pillow, and her other hand resting on her stomach. There was no more heavy armor on her now, all if laid without a sound on top of a flat wooden chest, she'd have to remember to put it away later. She was to tired to do it now.

It was tiresome to continue this charade, of being happy and calm…it was absolutely…exhausting. But none the less, she did as told, Viktor was in charged of course. Earlier, he had informed her that new lycan slaves had come into the walls, they were children of escaped slaves. Two were boys, one a girl. And but of course, Vinessa already knew their names. Silvyr. Wolfgang. Viviana. Beautiful children. Viktor disagreed though. He always did. But with Lucian, things had been different somehow…that compassion that Viktor held, it showed when Lucian was born. It was instructed that he had to kill the child, but he did not. He let him live. Vinessa remembered the day she had seen Lucian, he was so small, she even named him too. Viktor had found that distasteful though at the time, but he grew to acknowledge the boy. That was improvement on some level. Vinessa just knew. Lucian was meant to do great things. He'd change things…if for the better or not…this she did not know.

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