Beta'd By: My dear friend and Bobbette, Erin *holds tightly*

Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own anything. Not even my sanity. Well, maybe Sabine, but that's not much, considering.

Note: Inspired by the prompt (given through an LJ community): "Just tell me one thing, what is it about your own people you hate so much?" (The Last Samurai, 2003)

Note 2: It's meant to be read as a one-shot so, even if it feels like there's more to it, there will be no fanfic-continuation (I hope), so don't ask for it, please?

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The shackles are heavy on her wrists whenever she tries to lift her arms, to do something other than just sit on the cold, stone floor, with her back to the wall. She's still covered in blood — vampire blood — her once-white dress now a canvas for splatter and larger stains, making her look like a walking inkblot test.

She shifts, her butt nearly numb, and the chains rattle when she moves her arms to rest on her knees, but she moves them back to the floor once she realizes it's not comfortable at all. The shackles are too thick and heavy to be situated anywhere on her body.

She's been in that room for more than a day, she thinks, because the hunger is starting to kick in dangerously.

It's why she attacked the vampires; other than the fact that she wanted to prove a point to them — she wasn't Marcus' traitorous whore. She was also very hungry.

Even in chains, she could put up one hell of a fight, and what could they do? Ash her? Marcus would hang their ass on a pike if they so much as tried, which made the fight all the more fun.

The door opens, pure steel, and she can swear she hears it hissing again — or was that her?

The person who walks in is not who she was expecting, but the woman who's been working with Marcus these past few weeks; the same woman Krista kept telling herself she is not jealous of.

To be jealous would mean Krista cares and, really, she doesn't.

She doesn't give a damn about Marcus Van Sciver.

Sabine is a statuesque beauty, over six feet tall and, in spite of her delicate frame, the woman could slither and choke just like an anaconda, something Krista has witnessed first-hand.

"Oh, Krista, darling." She tsks, looking back and speaking in German, a language quite foreign to Krista. Two men come in with bags of blood, the tubes attached to them, and Krista feels embarrassed to hear herself moan at the very sight of it.

"It's not warm," Sabine warns her, nodding before one of the men gets close to Krista to keep her from moving while the other directs the tube into her mouth.

Krista would've fought, would've made a remark of "I don't care if it's on ice", if it wasn't for the undeniable fact that she really wants that blood.

She needs it.

She downs three bags faster than she ever thought possible and, once the third one nears its end, Krista is the one holding on to the tube on her own. The two men leave and Sabine is still standing under the doorway, watching as Krista licks some of the blood on her chin.

"I'm surprised you accepted it," Sabine smiles, leaning on the frame.

Krista's lips tighten, "I wasn't thinking with my head."

Sabine pouts, but there is nothing sincere about her frown. "Oh, Krista, how I wish you'd stop your little games with the Daywalker. You don't know how much you've wounded our dear Marcus—"

Krista doesn't flinch at the mention of 'our' Marcus, but she does cut Sabine off mid-sentence, "I know exactly how I've wounded him. It's his fault for having an ego the length of the Great Wall."

"Is that what you think you've wounded?" Sabine smiles and laughs that annoying, shrill laugh, "Oh, Krista, really? Can you be so foolish? Hmm, maybe you can be." She touches a finger to her own chin, tilting her head to the side, "I mean, no sensible vampire would attempt to go against its own kind, let alone their own house. It's... immoral."

"If you're going to lecture me about morals, kill me now, because the irony is just too much," Krista barks bitterly.

Sabine smirks, "What have we done to you, Krista? What have we done to deserve such hate?"

Krista was about to mention the one time Sabine kissed Marcus, but, considering Krista isn't supposed to know that or the fact that Marcus didn't really respond with equal fervor — something Krista is secretly thankful for — she keeps it to herself. Besides, that really isn't the question Sabine asked, is it?

"You're the reason my brother's dead," Krista reminds her. "You're the reason I'm dead."

Sabine rolls her eyes, "Oh, dear, that song again. Darling, who asked your brother to try and infiltrate our little house, hmm? And, while we're on that boat, did we ask him to be so horrible at it? No, dear, Blade dug his grave and he jumped in it, quite willingly."

Krista's on her feet in an instant, growling once the chains hold her back, four feet away from her objective. She could try to rip them out, she's well-fed enough to try, but a fight against Sabine wouldn't be like those three idiots she managed to butcher with some difficulty. Sabine is old. Krista remembers Marcus telling her that Sabine is the one pureblood who he'd never try to cross, not even if tempted.

"And who dug your grave, you ask?" Sabine reaches out for Krista's cheek, but doesn't touch it once Krista begins to stare at it as if she's going to bite it. Sabine smirks, pulling her hand back, "You did. You proved yourself too interesting, too... strong. Oh, but you can't be blamed for it, not really. If you had been a brainless git, Marcus would've had Chase kill you and he would've forgotten your existence by the next sunset, but you weren't a brainless git, were you? You still aren't. You have passion, fire, strength... Yes, I know what he sees in you now. I wouldn't mind being scrutinized by the purebloods if it meant an eternity with the likes of you."

Krista had been annoyed by Sabine's little speech, but the annoyance had been cut short once she heard the word 'scrutiny.' "What?"

Sabine's eyebrows shoot up and she's still smiling — she's always smiling, Krista thinks. "The purebloods that Marcus worked so hard to get close to, so hard to reacquire their good graces and dismiss past suspicions, are now scrutinizing him for his failure to find a traitor in, not only his house, but his bed. They are accusing him of allying himself with Blade. Our Marcus is in quite the predicament, Krista. Either he accepts the accusation or he reveals the truth: that his love for you made him weak to what he already knew; that you are a traitor, deserving of death and, yet, he'd never kill you. Even now, he lays his life for you and you don't even try to deserve him."

Sabine takes advantage of Krista's weakness now, of the fact that Krista's eyes are dazed as her mind races through too many things at once. Sabine takes Krista's face in her hands and Krista suddenly realizes that Marcus was right, Sabine is strong. She feels her jaw about to crack and, if Sabine makes her grip just a bit stronger, it probably will.

"I can accept that you hate what we've turned you into. I can accept that you consider us, especially me, a monster, but what I will not abide by is you refusing to accept that Marcus has ridiculous feelings for you. If you will not help me save him, then I will end you myself." She loosens her grip so Krista can speak.

"What for? So you can have him for yourself?"

There's that grin again, the one Krista wishes she could slap off Sabine's face. "Oh, that would be a treat, but Marcus isn't the kind to offer himself for a price or a debt. No, my desire to save him is simply because he is too grand a man to be wasted. His ideals, his heart-driven beliefs... they're rare in vampires. I'm sure you haven't noticed, blind as you are, that Marcus is the most human vampire I've ever met. Stronger, ruthless and far more efficient, except when it comes to you, of course, then he's the worst kind of human I've ever met." Sabine withdraws her hand, crossing her arms on her chest, "So, will you help me save him?"

Krista blinks, thinking to herself, wondering whether she could and whether she should.

She does hate vampires. She doesn't care if they ash each other over bad blood-tea. She's sick and tired of everything that follows their little world, but, Marcus... with Marcus, it's all wishes and harsh realities, none of which she wants to face.

"What do I have to do?" she asks, finally, keeping eye-contact with the new 'Chase' in her life, except this one would have a worse bite, Krista's sure of it.

Sabine doesn't smile and this actually tells Krista to be careful, because an unsmiling Sabine is a dangerous one.

"Follow my orders, Krista, and maybe I can teach you how to earn love." Krista's about to interrupt her when Sabine puts her hand up, "You need to be taught, Krista. You need to learn."