Paris Skyle was sitting in the Hall of Kheldon Lurt eating a bowl of bat broth. He was a t a table by himself, many people were to nervous to even eat in the presence of a presence of a prince. The hall was virtually empty. In fact there were only three people in the hall with him. Three young half-vampires.

They were seated at the table on the left far corner. Paris recognized them as the three new assistants. One was Seba Nile's assistant, one was Vanez Blane's, and the other was, well he couldn't remember. But what were there names? Arten? Larra? Cavner? He didn't remember and it bothered him.

He decided to listen to their conversation. Maybe he would pick up their names on the way.

"Well Crepsley, what do you have to say for yourself?" The female asked.

"Oh come on Arra. Leave him alone." The other asked. So the girls name was Arra.

"No Gavner. The idiot has gone to far this time," Arra retorted angrily. "How could you decide to take the trials in one month? You will get murdered Crepsley, and I wont come to your funeral."

"Arra in order for me to become a general I must take the trials. You'll end up taking them, in time. And besides Seba has agreed to make me a full vampire tonight. I do not see why this was a problem." The red-head answered. He must be Crepsley. Then the other male was Gavner.

"You know. She might be right Larten. Maybe you should wait on the trials I mean, you know what happens if you lose! We really don't want you to die." Gavner looked uncomfortable as he argued with his friend. Paris was stunned. Normally, he heard vampires encouraging others to undergo the trials, just for fun and honor. Never had he heard anyone discouraging them. It was odd.

"I do not agree with that. I am going to take the trials and win. Then I'll be a general and their will be nothing you can do to stop me." Larten replied stiffly. Arra glared at him, her eyes alight with hard fury and something else. Gavner got up and left the hall, leaving those two alone to talk.

"Look Larten, if you are going to be stupid and undergo the trials I am going to do them too." She said quietly.

"No! No you are not Arra!" He yelled, looking horrified at her face.

"Why not? If you can do them why can't I?" She asked, daring him to argue.

"Because…….Because you just can't. I wont let you." He answered not looking her in the face.

"You wont let me? You wont let me? Who are you to not let me? I will take the trials whether you want me to or not. If you are taking them so am I." She answered defiantly. Paris was slightly shocked. Failing the trials meant death, so why, pray tell, would she take the trials just because he would? It made no sense. "No Arra. Please don't. Don't do this to," He said quietly, rising on his feet to face her. "I can't let you die."

"Why not?" She asked, looking very confused.

"I can't let them kill you. Because…..Because I love you Arra. I really do." He answered, looking into his eyes. She was shocked, as was Paris. It was even worse when Larten reached out and put a hand on the side of her face, slowly leaned into her, and kissed her, right on the lips.

They stayed like that as long as their oxygen would allow. Paris felt guilt tug at his heart. Losing the trials meant death. If either of them failed their trials, he would have to issue the order to kill them. They could no longer be together, and the guilt Paris felt as he thought of that almost tore his heart.

"You won take the trials Larten?" Arra asked.

"No I think I'll wait." And then they walked out hand in hand, leaving a very confused, and very odd feeling Paris behind.