Chapter One:

"Tessie! Would you watch it, good Lord woman you nearly took off my head!" Nate seemed overly testy today compared to…well compared to his normal testy self. "How did I ever let you talk me into buying that, that monstrosity."

I rolled my eyes puffing out a short breathe to push my stray out of my face; of course seeing as how it was my hair it simply fell limply back into place; talk about a monstrosity. "Oh hush will you Nate."

"What I am serious one of these days when something terrible does happen you will end up hurting yourself simply trying to operate one of those…obscene death traps of yours."

I arched an eyebrow at his flushed face "Are you planning on getting into trouble Mr. Gray because if so I will need to stock up on much more 'death traps'."

He narrowed his eyes at me and opened his mouth to say something before he simply exhaled, threw his hands up in the air and stalked out the room; yelping slightly when I dropped a battle axe emanating a rather loud and imposing bang as it clattered to the floor.

"My apologies." I tipped my head as he shot me an icy glare and continued on his way. "Where are you going?" I called after him only to get a dismissive wave in return.

I chuckled, shaking my head and turning my skirts making their annoying swishing noise due to the heavy multitude of fabrics. I was wearing a pink silk dress with red and purple butterflies scattered aimlessly around the bodice, cuffs, and button hemline. I looked absolutely ridiculous in the thing but Nate had bought for me as a surprise one day when he had caught me in one of my stupors.

"Really Theresa when will you give this foolish nature of yours up; busying yourself with your iocales, you have no use for them." My body tensed as that damn thin cold feeling seeped into my bones, as would a warm cup of tea would warm you.

I turned tipped my head curtly and whispered "Supero Dominus Domino."

"Do return to me Theresa, I have missed you dearly." He smiled the way he used to smile at me to persuade me into doing something. It always worked.

Back then.

My eyes shot to the floor away from his dark grey eyes; I could feel his frown wrap around me, his allure reach out into me coaxing me to look up at him. He was quite horribly handsome actually not to mention the fact that he was the only person who could single handedly bring me to my knees if he so choose, a flaw I was working on (and failing) overcoming.

"No." My voice was light and low, quiet almost as if the word hadn't wanted to be said or had wanted to be heard. I glanced up at Dominus my eyes searching his neutral face for any hint of anger of impatience.

His eyes glittered and narrowed just slightly; he stepped forward with that same calm smile plastered on his face and said "The house is just the same; praeda." I stepped back away from him as he leaned forward to touch my cheek; I hated when he called me that.

At my movement his eyes flashed with anger before settling onto cold orbs; they reminded me of how the sky would look in the ninth gate of hell; cold, unyielding, consuming, dead. "I have a home here." Again my voice was low almost apologetic; I felt pathetic in his presence not to mention dull in comparison.

"Enough!" His voice rose cracking the dull air around us, his authority evident in this tiny room, he stepped toward me and I stood this time perfectly still staring at his beautiful angelic face "This foolishness my praeda must stop this instant; you have a home." He spat out the word with disgust, rage flaring in his eyes making the grey dance and glitter in a cruel sort of way. "He's a mud-mouth have you forgotten that." His voice was sharp as a whip and cut me just as hard; I flinched just slightly "Have you even told him, of course not because he'll leave you; I am all you have, I am all you will ever have; you and me my praeda; it is a long life we lead-

"Whose fault is that!" The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them, they were sharp and loud but most of all they were vicious. My hand cupped over my mouth as my eyes widened in shock; panic swelled inside me and before I could move Dominus' hand struck my face with enough power to rattle my teeth.

"I gave you a gift; a life, I gave you immortality at its best; I molded you and this, this is how you repay my graciousness?" He seemed astounded his always-musky black hair wild as he slapped me again. "You will come home now; to our home, your only home; are we understood." His voice rang with authority as his eyes blazed.


I wasn't sure what to say; how to act, what to do all I could think of was Nate and the horrible fight we had just had, he would come home from his brisk walk his nose rose red, cheeks flushed from the cold and smile sheepishly at me while discarding his overcoat on the velvet armchair in the living room; he would take a seat next to me on the over fluffed couch and kiss my cheek; he would apologize and give me a red rose because they were my favorite; then he would ruffle my hair and go up stairs muttering a goodnight and in the morning their would be waffles and little Dutch cakes waiting for me with a note that said 'Went to work Tessie, wire me or stop by when you decide what it is you want for dinner. With all my love, Nathanial.' There was nothing that I wanted more right now than that.

I swallowed the lump in my throat straightened my back and left my eyes downcast as I spoke slowly and carefully to Dominus "My deep apologeies Supero Dominus I was in no place to refuse your gracious offer." It wasn't an offer but it would allow me to be sane holding to the last tiny shred of self worth I pocessed.

Dominus grinned brilliantly at me almost seeming to light up the room thin wrinkles creasing around his eyes and mouth. That was the grin that had won me over; the grin that changed my life, that damned me.