Chapter 1: The Sins Of Blood
I could hear the rain. It was loud, defined. Each tiny droplet as it fell through the sky; like a bullet, each one had a destined path they followed before hitting the roof in a flurry of water. They were wild like thunder over the ground, random and unexpected. I smiled; it was a slight twitch of the mouth, but enough for me to notice. I enjoy the rain. To be able to feel the water run down my shoulders, and watch as they fall from my hair. It helps me in a way, like a river. The rain droplets wash all my problems and fears from my body. It carries them as they fall to the ground, later absorbed by this very planet, taking my troubles with it.
But, as I twisted my bleeding wrists in the chains that held me firmly against the wall, I knew it was impossible. As I let myself become completely entranced with the sound of the rain, I looked up to the cold, stone ceiling. I traced the lines of the cracks, as they stretched outwards from corner to corner; like branches reaching towards the light. I formed swirling patterns I didn't realize were there, all the while wishing; praying that I would someday be able to see the sky one more time.
I used to believe that I would see everything I loved again. Everything I held dear, like the sun as its rays covered my body in a magnificent glow, or the beautiful silver illumination of the moon. Most of all, I missed the way the stars dance in the sky at night, and the way the rain droplets cover the world in their tears. I would picture myself dancing, dancing under the sky; below the sun, stars and the moon. I would dance, amongst the rain. It's because I believed that, that I spent hours, yanking at the chains, fueled only by the hope of being released, being able to see it once more.
What was left of my life anyway? I had no family now, since my mother was murdered. I used cry for her, for anyone to help me. But, all they gave me after two days were the pointed tips of knives to my flesh, as they forced me to watch it sink deeper and deeper in my skin, and the abuse of a metal pole to my face was a particular favorite. Still, I waited. At times I would scream so loudly, letting everyone know what they were doing. I would wait for them to feel a trace of guilt and save me from this hell. Yet, the days dragged on and no-one came. No-one pitied me. No-one felt sorry for me. They were all comfortable with what they have done. After all, I'm not one of them anymore. So gradually, the realization sunk in. My mother was dead because of me, and I was being punished for what I was.
They even called this my 'new room'. It was ironic in a way; I had always wanted my own room, since I was tired of sharing one with my parents. How bitter, that when I finally get my own place, it turns out to be here. However, this isn't a room. A room doesn't have stone walls, or old, rusted metal bars. A room doesn't have a trapped fifteen year old girl, convicted of heinous acts she had never done. A room definitely doesn't have chains that are so tight round your writs they cut off the circulation. if this was a room, my mother would be here, to comfort me or give me privacy when I wanted it. No, this isn't a room.
The only faces I have seen in over a year were those of hate. Even now, after who knows how many months, they still took pleasure in my pain, it was a game of theirs now. How loud can we make the half breed scream? But screaming just wastes whatever of my lifeline I have left. I barely have the energy to keep breathing nowadays. I can feel it. Every second, my life is bleeding from my wrists as freely as the air passes into my lungs. It trickles down my arm, soaking my already stained shirt. Before my life dries and hardens into nothing more than a stain on my back, or a dried puddle on the floor. My body tensed as adrenaline pulsed its way through my body with every heartbeat. I sighed. It was my own blood that got me into this situation. Well, my father's to be correct. My real fathers. The very element that cast my father away like a piece of garbage was passed down to me. I didn't even know him. I still don't. For the fifteen years of my life, I believed Alexander, my mother's husband was my father. He had raised me after all. I truly loved him like a daughter should love her parent. Yet, he was the one who knocked me down to let me fall. This is where I landed.
When I was younger, after I had woken up screaming from some nightmare, he would tell me 'don't be afraid of the dark'. But as many times as I tell myself this now, it makes no difference. The hairs on my arms stand on end and the anxiety almost seems natural now, instinctual, like breathing.
It elevated my mind to a higher plain than any other emotion. And I hate myself for it.
Yet now, for some reason, it felt stranger than usual, almost creepy in a way. It felt different. The normal anxiety I felt, had manifested into something more. Something stronger. I was scared, and I knew straight away that was unnatural for me. My breaths turned ragged, shallow and fast. Panic set in, forcing its way into my head like a burrowing worm. I couldn't think, couldn't focus. So I pulled on the chains, hoping the pain would help clear my head. No such luck. It merely put an edge to the blade I felt in my chest. I wasn't suffocating, but I found it difficult to breathe all the same. Gasping like a wounded animal, knowing the predator was near, waiting for the right time to strike. Frantically, my eyes searched through the darkness, knowing something was wrong. I just haven't realized it yet. My instincts of self-preservation were kicking in before I even knew what the threat was. Thankfully, the adrenaline temporarily heightened my broken senses. I was able to see, hear and smell better.
A muffled sound reached my ears. Footsteps? I wasn't sure. Whatever it was, was treading lightly. Not wanting me to know they were here. I braced my back against the wall, aware that it would offer no protection to me. I merely wanted something steady to lean against.
A silhouette in the darkness, stepped in front the rusty bars that secured my only exit, not that I was in any condition to escape. Then a sudden flash of light from a torch blinded me; I recoiled from it, ignoring the throbbing pain from my arms. I sealed my eyes shut, it felt like looking at the sun. But slowly, the light faded and I was able to adjust to the now dim glow that was lighting the room. I blinked a couple times, working the bright spots out of my vision, before I could see the clearly defined figure standing meters away from me.
"Raine." The voice was unmistakable. I recognized it immediately. It was a voice I've been longing to hear again. A voice of whom I wanted to see smile, I wanted to see laugh when I fall over. It was the voice of someone I wanted to have in my life. Even so, a small part of me, an insignificant half of my being, my 'dark' side, wanted to tear myself away from the wall and clasp my hands around his fragile little throat. Then it would only take the slightest squeeze. Instead, I choked a laugh. It was short and sounded like a bark.
"Nice to see you too." my voice was strained and broken; I hadn't used it in so long. My throat both ached and burned from the effort. I inhaled a deep breath and swallowed, trying to soothe it with whatever liquid I had left in me. "How long has it been, Jace"? The bitterness emanated from sentence. "I do enjoy your visits." I would've lifted my head, but I didn't have the strength left. However, I thought I heard his teeth clenching together, which gave me some satisfaction.
"Cut the crap, half-breed, "he literally spat the words at me. I had never heard him call me that before. "The only reason I'm here is too make sure you're still alive." He held his fingers up to his temple, and sealed his eyes shut. I knew he was angry just looking at me. Then his face relaxed slightly, but i saw his hands were still balled into fists. He almost looked smug. Like his father. The very thought of it sickened me. "My father doesn't believe in letting prisoners-"
"I don't give a shit what your father believes!" Anger coursed through me, like a dying flame reborn from the ashes. It burned in my head, making my vision blurry. One of the only people I hated in this world was Alistair, Jace's vampire father. I can never forgive him. I will never forgive him, after what he did to me, to my family. It scorched my thoughts, filling my head through to the core with the renowned memory.
Even though my body protested, I lifted my head to look at him. His face, his perfectly symmetrical face was wrenched between guilt and hatred. His golden honeycomb eyes, that I used to see filled with so much happiness, had a markedly different cast to them. They looked almost...hostile. I used to love his hair, the way it flowed like a leaf in the wind. It's color like the sky. Now, it was darkened to almost black. It was wild and strewn messily across his face. His clothes were still the same, a baggy beige hoodie that hung loosely over his torso. He had short three quarter length khakis, which were ripped and torn at the bottom. I used to think of him as carefree. But even with that hint of familiarity, it now made him cocksure. He was his father. Intimidating, and frightening. "You're father is no better than any other vampire," my voice cracked on the word vampire. my whole body was shaking and I could feel something running down my cheeks. I realized that my blurry vision was because I had tears in my eyes. Not because my temper had erupted like a volcano. I wished it had.
"Well, he isn't the one who betrayed me," Jace muttered under his breath so quietly, I wasn't sure if that was what he said. But he didn't look at me. His eyes were covered by hair and pointed towards the floor. My eyes narrowed into tiny slits as I glared at him. I'm stuck down here and he thinks I betrayed him?
"How did I betray you, when you left me to fall"? I was arching towards him, leaning on my knees. My arms stretched high above my head; the pain seemed tolerable at the moment. But the it will catch up with me, it always does. There was a large pool of blood behind me, no doubt from my wrists; where the chains sunk through the flesh. It was a slow, but continuous flow of blood. A crimson waterfall, as it fell through the air and splashed into the shallow pool behind me. My back was warm with both sweat and blood, whereas my fingers were numb from lack of it. I knew that eventually the lack of blood would cause my hands permanent damage, if not by now. I had already accepted that fact as a punishment for me being my father's daughter. Even though I did nothing wrong. I would have to carry my father's sins with me. The sins of my blood.
"I let you fall," Jace's said, his face now calm, emotionless. He looked up from the floor, totally relaxed and stared at me with blank, flat eyes. "Because you betrayed me, you let me believe that I could trust you, that you were someone that I could-" he hesitated; I could tell he was debating whether or not to say what he was about to. "Someone I could...be happy with." He spoke more slowly this time, as if willing me to understand. "Whenever I was with you, it helped me forget my life, just for a moment, I wished we would be together forever" the sadness in his eyes leaked through, though it was only for a second, because he quickly recovered himself. He stared away from my face again, brushing a lock of hair from his eyes. It was quiet for about a minute. Complete silence except for my shallow, husky breaths. A broken hover would've sounded healthier. It was Jace who broke the silence first.
"Then, then I find out you're a Half breed" The hostility I'd feared, came roaring to the surface. I winced and instinctively, curled away from him. Leaning against the wall, I realized the back of my trousers were now covered in blood from the pool behind me. Still, I held his gaze; this may be the last chance I get to say what I want to say.
"I can't help being a half breed" I emphasized each syllable, because this fact was startlingly obvious. He and everyone else however, seemed unable to grasp it. "It's not like I did it just to spite you". How can he not understand? I'm not a different person, I found out I was a half breed the day I was dragged down here. There was no conspiracy, they accused me of. The only person who cared about me enough was my mother. She had tried to get me out, but Alistair got to us first. That bastard ordered Alexander to hold my mother from me. He ripped her from my grasp. She was screaming my name as I was hauled away. Alistair guards held me so tightly I couldn't even tell her how much I loved her. I could barely breath, as they dragged me down here.
I glowered at him, pulling a poker face to hide my frightened eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, when he stopped, and turned his head slightly. Then he smirked, flickering his eyes away from mine and towards a dark section of the room. I followed his gaze, but at first couldn't see anything. I had to narrow my eyes, before the looming figure in the corner was visible to my deteriorating vision.
"Move, vampire" The unfamiliar voice hissed, a low, menacing sound that resonated from deep within his chest. But Jace stood his ground baring his teeth, matching the stranger with a growl of his own.
"Who do you think you're talking to" Jace snarled through his teeth, half crouching, as if ready to pounce. "You're just a filthy half-breed". This sound was alone the most menacing thing I have ever heard. It sent chills down my spine, causing an instinctual shiver that flowed throughout my whole body. The stranger tilted his head, arching his back at the same time. Two predators I thought, about to fight each other. "Unless you want to end up like your buddies upstairs" He ran I finger across his throat, but never took his eyes off Jace "Then I suggest you leave" He was confident, so much so that it was almost arrogance that held his shoulders so high. Jace snorted.
"Being ordered around by a half breed" his eyes glanced at mine for a split second before settling back on the unwelcome guest "what an insult". I heard a laugh from the stranger. But it was short and ignorant, thought he was quickly drowned out by a strange sound from above us.
There was a loud crash; I ducked automatically, even though we were several meters below it. The roof, made a sound like tearing paper, before it cracked. Downwards, closer and closer, until one of the cracks spread, all the way across, carving the roof in half. There were smaller, yet still large enough pieces to do damage that fell free from the two halves of the ceiling. One of the larger pieces landed between Jace and the unexpected visitor. A smaller piece of stone landed on my leg. My sense weren't as sharp as they should be, so I barely saw it coming. But, I heard the crunching of my bones before I felt it. When I did feel it, I screamed, and bit my lip so hard it bled; to stop myself before my throat completely cracked form the strain. The pain was so intense, Like my leg had been stabbed repeatedly, the knives still embedded. My already blurry vision now became a haze, I couldn't see anything at all now. I was dizzy. But I could hear the faint sound of tapping, like someone running in the opposite direction. Yet I was soon wrapped up by the pain of my mangled leg. Daring myself to look at it, I regretted it immediately. A sharp, pointed end of a bone was sticking upwards through the skin on my lower leg. Just below the knee. The whiteness of the bone was mixed within the crimson blood. I began to wonder how long I could survive with this injury, including the blood that was still leaking from my wrists. But the touch of something warm broke my disorientating train of thought. It was soft and gentle.
"Are you okay"? The voice was the same one that Jace was talking to. I thought I heard him curse. No doubt he noticed my crippled leg. But I was slightly irritated by his pointless question. The pain began to build up again, and I bit my lip harder, tasting my own blood as it ran down my lip.
"Do I look okay"? I snapped at him, before another scream forced its way out. He took another look at my leg, before sighing. He swiped a long, lock of golden hair from his face. I narrowed my eyes at him but made no effort to move.
"No, in fact," I looked at him, well glaring more like. Yet it was still to dark to see him clearly. But Then I realized he was staring at me; Seeming unaffected my by evil stares. "You look horrible" He held his hand up to the chain that held me here "Stay still, please you don't want a missing hand". I ground my teeth together, but nodded. I needed something to distract me, so I watched what he did. He held the chain with his left hand, while his right hand lay stationary over it. Then, he flicked his wrist and almost immediately, there was a fast slicing sound. The chain fell free. For over a year, my hands have been chained to that wall. For over a year, they have been held above my head. Now, in a matter of seconds, I was free. But it hurt to put my hands down. Yet, the relief my wrists felt from being free of those chocking metal traps, I waved them around forming circles above my head; it felt amazing. He threw the chains aside and pulled me up by my arms. He was gentle, not letting my broken leg touch the ground. It was painful, and I winced, but it was no worse that it was before. Hesitantly, I pushed away from him and leaned against a wall. He pulled a face, but made no effort to stop me. There was now about a meter between us. unfortunately, now that the chains round my wrists had been removed, there was nothing to help block out the pain in my leg. There was nothing to take my mind of it. My tolerance of pain, crippled beneath this new, more intense feeling of agony. So, i tried to take my mind of it, a hard thing to do since it filled my head almost completely. Instead I focused on finding out who was sitting feet from me. Taking a deep breath, ignoring how raspy I sounded. "Who" My voice broke on the word, my voice trailed off at the end. I swallowed convulsively, using my arms as props on the wall. I repeated the sentence, more slowly this time. "Who, the hell are you"? He remained where he was, but stood ready to catch me when, If I fall.
"Are you sure you can stand on your own"? He raised an eyebrow at me, smirk on his lips. I glared at him.
"Don't answer my question with a question"! I snapped, the excruciating pain that swarmed round my whole body was making me a short fuse. The wall was wet and slippery, before he had time to say anything, my hands fell free, and I landed on my broken leg, forcing the bone through my skin further. This time, I screamed.
"I need to get you out of here" The strange person grunted, before picking me up, he was careful not to touch my broken leg. I winced as it was lifted off the ground, but relieved to have the pressure of it. He held me tight against his chest, Struggling was useless, and he was far stronger than me because of my fragile state. If I tried, he held me tighter. "If you don't let me carry you, you're going to be left here" He paused, flashing a malicious smirk across his lips "For those vampires to find you" I flinched automatically at his words, memories filled my head. I shook them away furtively, hoping he didn't notice.
"Fine, then" I huffed, folding my arms "But this is the only time you can" trying t make my voice as threatening as I could, at an attempt to hide the fear that was clouding my eyes. It was silent for a short while, I looked everywhere I could accept him, as I often caught his glare on my face. What small amount of light we had, now seemed to be disappearing behind us. Where are we going? Is he taking me further into the dungeons?
"Um-" I hesitated, biting my lip, not quite sure what to say. Yes stranger who is carrying me like a doll, where are you taking me? I would like to know these things.
"What's your name"? He questioned, before I had a chance to open my mouth again. For the first, time, I looked at him. Really looked at him, His eyes were pale blue, almost Grey. But I swore I could see Red blended in around the pupil. They were also burrowing into mine. I turned my head, breaking the grasp he held me in.
"You haven't even told me yours yet" My shaky tone spilling through "And I asked first". Surprisingly he laughed, but like before, it was short. It was arrogant.
"Good point" He nodded once, a quick tilt of the head before looking at me again. "My name is Urafu" He smirked and looked away from me, once again to the darkening path ahead. I furrowed my eyes brows at him, about to ask what was to funny. "You would be"? As before, he spoke just as I was about to. I was irritated by his interruptions, but answered anyway.
"Raine" I snapped. But instantly felt guilty about it. After all, this guy is saving me. I think. I closed my eyes and took a couple of deep breaths, working the irritation out of my voice. "My name is Raine". He nodded as if this was some piece of vital information, but continued to stare ahead. But this time, his eyes were flickering from side to side. Over every turning, in the hall, every particularly darkened corner, almost like he was searching for something, or someone.
"What are you looking for"? I questioned, now naturally curious. He looked at me, but his pace increased. It was only fractionally, but it was enough for me to notice.
"A friend" but the way he said friend made it sound more like acquaintance. "I'm hoping he is already here and done what he was supposed to" Annoyance, flowed through his words like a river with too much water, that spills onto the banks beside it. Nonetheless, I followed his gaze, and noticed that the almost pitch black tunnels were lighter, much more so than they had been minutes ago. Whether it was because he was walking faster, or my eyes are slow at adjusting I wasn't sure. Minutes passed, and I watched as the fading cracks and dents on the wall became clear. However it wasn't the familiar dim orange glow I was used to. It looked real. The silver rays, sunk deep through my past, where I remembered them clearly. The light was natural; it was the moon that was illuminating the pathway ahead of us. I smiled, where there was moonlight, there was the sky. I was beginning to feel light headed; the pain in my leg was going numb. But I didn't care. I could hear Urafu shout something, increasing his pace to a near run. The moon light was warm against my cheek, though I would've thought it to be cold. Yet, I wanted to fall asleep right now; and be absorbed by its radiance.