Chapter 1

"I can't believe you're doing this." She whispered in disbelief, shaking her head while pacing back and forth in the locker room, raking a hand through her hair. It was black with blood red streaks throughout it. Her black and red medieval dress that laced up the front and went down to her ankles, long sleeved and made of pure velvet and silk, swayed with every step she took. Her lips were painted the same red that was in her dress, her hair down, going to the middle of her back, the ends curled. Her purple eyes that reminded others of violets currently had tears welled up in them and her stomach felt like it was going to cave in at any moment. "Why are you doing this?"

Christian stared down at her, his brown eyes sorrowful. "It wasn't my decision." He said his voice soft as ever. He was a member of the Brood. Gangrel was the leader, Edge the warrior and he was the thoughtful, quiet one. They balanced things out though right now he could see that balance already tipping into someone more ruthless than Gangrel's hands. "Alexis, this is out of my hands."

"H-How can you join him willingly? Why won't you fight this? Do you have any idea what he's capable of?" Alexis was beside herself, blinking tears away, her heart breaking as she stared back at her boyfriend. She remembered meeting Christian when she first came to the company. She was put into the Brood as their valet and instantly became entranced with Christian's soft brown eyes and how polite he was toward her. "I can't do this." She whispered and started for the door.

Gently, he caught Alexis by her forearm, stopping her from going too far. "Please," He whispered, brown eyes entreating her to stay. "You know where my brother goes, I go." Christian and Edge went back to when they were children; he had always followed the more charismatic man, his best friend, his brother. "If you are frightened, you know I will protect you." He whispered, hands moving to cup her face. "Please, Alexis, don't go."

How could she deny those brown eyes that were pleading with her to stay?

She couldn't.

"Christian." She whispered, a tear falling down her cheek, sighing when his lips met hers in a soft kiss, wrapping her arms around his neck, burying her blood red painted fingernails in his blonde hair. She knew he wouldn't leave Edge and honestly didn't blame him. The brothers were closer than close. She was scared though, truly terrified, seeing what this man was capable of that the Brood was being forced into obeying. "I want to stay, I truly do..." She mumbled against his lips, her deep violet eyes staring into his as they slowly opened.

"Then stay." Christian whispered, his lips brushing against hers. "This changes nothing between us, Alexis." He ran his hands down her arms to her slender waist, gazing down into those eyes he so loved, the purple never failing to captivate him. "I love you." He said softly, squeezing her gently, his hands splayed around her waist. "I don't want to lose you, Alexis."

"I love you too." She replied, running her thumb across his lips, wiping some of the blood red lipstick away, pressing her forehead against his while gripping his forearms gently. She wanted to stay and follow him wherever he went, but she wasn't sure if she could do this. She wasn't sure if she could handle being with him while they caved to a monster. "I can't..." She kissed him before running out the door, having extracted his arms from her and ran down the hallway as the tears flowed down her pale face, heading for the exit.

Christian instantly went to chase after her, only to find himself being pushed back into the room by Gangrel. "Alexis!" He yelled, hearing Gangrel snarl while Edge began soothing him.

"She'll be back."

"Calm down, Christian!" Gangrel ordered. "We have bigger things to deal with then your woman's issues."

Once outside, Alexis finally stopped as she looked up at the full lit moon, wiping her tears away, still not believing what was going to happen. Weren't they fine with just the four of them? Why did they have to do this, to join this monster and his clan? She loved Christian with all of her heart and fingered the symbol around her neck. It was an ankh attached to a black chain. Christian had given it to her a few months after she joined the Brood and she hadn't taken it off since.

"Damn it, what am I going to do?" She whispered to the night, closing her eyes.

"He's expecting us soon." Edge said evenly, glancing at the clock, his shades hiding the worry he felt. He himself wasn't happy with this merger, but he knew Gangrel hadn't had a choice. If they hadn't agreed to go willingly, they all would have been taken by force.

"I have to find Alexis." Christian muttered. "She's part of the Brood."

"Find her quick, if you're late..." Gangrel trailed off, his eyes wide.

She began walking away from the arena, arms wrapped around herself, heading for the rental car to go back to the hotel. She didn't care about missing this meeting, she didn't care. As far as she was concerned, Alexis wasn't apart of the Brood anymore. Her black steel toed boots thumped against the gravel as she sighed heavily, missing Christian already.

"I'm sorry." She whispered stopping and turning to stare back at the arena before continuing to the parking lot.

Christian flew through the arena, calling her name. Finally he was told she had been seen heading for the parking lot and ran. "Alexis, wait!" He yelled when he seen her heading for the car. Christian closed the door when she opened it, staring down at her out of wide eyes. "Please, do not go." He pleaded one more time. When she just bit her lower lip, he pulled Alexis against him, leaning down to kiss her. He poured all his love and passion into that kiss, begging her without words to stay by his side.

His lips were so comforting, promising her he loved her and no one else. Moaning softly, Alexis wrapped her arms around his neck, moving her head from side to side, finally pulling back completely breathless. "You're not making this easy." She whispered, feeling his arms tighten more around her, knowing he wanted her to stay more than anything. She saw the panic and heartache in his eyes, which shattered her even more. "Alright, I'll stay." She couldn't believe she was about to do this, but she loved him too much to let him go, to not stay by his side. "I'll stay." Alexis knew she was trying to convince herself more than him of that.

Christian's entire body posture changed from tensed to relief in a mere second, his eyes shining with relief as well. "Thank you." He whispered, kissing the palm of her hand. "I'll take care of you." He promised, threading his hands with hers. "Don't I always?" He kissed her again.

"He's late..." Edge groaned softly as they stood outside the dressing room door, waiting to be admitted. "He's going to-" Edge shut up when Gangrel nudged him, swallowing hard.

Just as the door creaked open, Alexis and Christian skidded to a halt behind them, both breathing heavily. She seen Gangrel and Edge whip around to face them, relief on their faces before all four of them turned to face the open door. Swallowing hard, Alexis gripped Christian's hand, entwining their fingers together and slowly followed Gangrel and Edge inside the darkened room, her violet eyes wide with both fear and wonder. They'd barely made it, having reconciled in the parking lot with heavy kissing and a lot of touching. Alexis had fixed her lipstick, hiding the swollenness of her lips.

Christian frowned when Edge traced the corner of his mouth, catching on and quickly wiped his lips with the back of his hand, clearing his throat softly. He could see the warning in both his brother and Gangrel's eyes, squeezing Alexis's hand softly. The room was dim, the light overhead producing a soft glow that didn't extend to all corners of the room. Swallowing hard, he lowered his gaze to the floor.

"Welcome." Came a sinister baritone from one of the darker points in the room.

That voice sent a shiver down her spine as Alexis lowered her head along with Christian, Edge and Gangrel, fighting back from running from the room and away from here. She could feel the darkness, the evil that resonated around her and closed her eyes, taking deep silent breaths to slow her racing heartbeat. 'Please let this be quick.' She thought, hearing deliberate footsteps coming toward them, and didn't look up. She did what the Brood did and kept her head lowered, her blackish red hair covering part of her face.

The Undertaker's cold, green eyes surveyed the four before him, noting with approval their bowed heads. He had not really counted on the woman however, figuring Gangrel would send her off as quickly as possible. Sometimes it was pleasant to be wrong as she was not unpleasant to look upon.

"You have not brought your things." He said, his voice tinted with a mild bit of surprise, hearing his Ministry chuckling knowingly around him. "Mideon..."

"Yes?" Mideon appeared at his side instantly.

"Go retrieve their belongings."

This was wrong, this was a mistake and she knew it. Alexis wanted to run out of there and felt Christian squeeze her hand, knowing he felt her anxiety. What did that mean exactly? They couldn't even have their own dressing room anymore? Apparently not.

'Damn it, what have I gotten myself into?' She thought, not daring to look up, her eyes remaining on the floor to stare at her boots.

Christian was wondering along the same lines, wondering if Gangrel had known just what he was doing by siding with the Undertaker. Then again, if he hadn't, they would have been forcefully taken, possibly Alexis too.

"Who is this ripe little strawberry?" He all but purred, two fingers sliding under Alexis's chin, tilting her head up. He showed no surprise at her odd eye color. Of course he was aware the Brood had a female among them, though he had paid little attention to her in the overall equation of things.

Strawberry? Alexis was appalled and it showed in her purple eyes as they narrowed slightly, wondering if she should answer him or not. "Alexis." She replied evenly, his touch sending a tremor of fear through her body. She felt Christian release her hand, but didn't move an inch, knowing that would be a fatal mistake on her part.

"Alexis." He echoed, not having missed the fact that Christian's head was now raised, turning his attention to the young man. It was impossible to mistake the anger in those brown eyes. "Do you have something you wish to say to me?" He asked, raising his black eyebrows, his tone almost warm.

Christian heard the under current of malice beneath that false warm voice, knowing he was walking a fine line right now. He lowered his head, shaking it. Edge's sigh of relief was barely audible, knowing if Christian had said something; it would only provoke the Undertaker into harassing Alexis further.

Alexis looked at Edge, seeing the apprehension in his blue eyes and took Christian's hand again. She knew Christian was dying to spat at this monster, but that wouldn't bode well for them. She squeezed his hand instead, letting him know everything was fine, though she couldn't believe the audacity of this man to call her a ripe strawberry. That had her blood boiling as her purple eyes narrowed at Gangrel.

'This is all because of you!' She wanted to scream at him, but didn't voice it, biting her tongue to keep from lashing out. She would have her say when they weren't in the presence of the Undertaker.

Mideon scurried back into the room, clutching their bags in his hands and set them down with the Ministry's own gear. Grinning in an almost psychotic fashion, he dropped onto his knees besides the Undertaker, looking somewhat like a dog resting at its master feet.

He reached down, patting Mideon on the head, cementing the impression, his eyes returned to Alexis. "Paul?"


"Find her something...suitable to wear."

"Excuse me?" She couldn't stay quiet anymore, her eyebrows furrowing together, feeling Christian's warning squeeze and shook her head. "I think what I'm wearing is just fine, SIR." She practically spat that at him, trembling with rage, her purple eyes lit on fire. Alexis had a temper, she would be the first to admit that, and right now it was boiling over.

"Aww hell."

Viscera just shook his head, knowing this woman was already going to be a problem.

"I beg your pardon?" He stared down at her, eyes acid green with venom. Once again his tone was polite, at odds with the anger defining his face. "What you are wearing is suitable for the Brood perhaps, but you are now with the Ministry of Darkness." He looked at Paul when the man held up a long, black dress, his personal symbol embroidered all over it in royal purple. He nodded his approval, eyes lingering on the dress collar, an amused leer on his face.

Christian's eyes were blazing with fire now; this was all, but a verbal claiming of Alexis. "What she is wearing is FINE." He said through gritted teeth, unable to restrain himself.

She stared at the fabric, seeing the symbol on it and knew she would have to give up her wardrobe, nodding silently. "It's alright Christian, relax." She murmured, taking the dress, seeing that it was much like the one she was wearing except there were no laces. "We are no longer the Brood, he's right. You can thank Gangrel for that." She stared back at Undertaker before shooting daggers back at the vampire wanna-be, vacating into the bathroom to change.

"She has quite the spirit." The Undertaker commented, staring down at Christian. "Then again, so do you." Edge cringed, stepping forward along with Gangrel when 'Taker grabbed a handful of hair, ripping Christian's head back. The Acolytes stepped forward as well, effectively making the two stop in their tracks. Ignoring the two, his eyes met Christian's. "I look forward to breaking you both, though it's doubtful you'll enjoy it as much as she." Snorting, he tossed the smaller man away from him.