Chapter 1

It was a regular Friday night in Baia. Nothing out of the ordinary. Young dhampir children were being called inside by their—usually—young dhampir mothers. Teenagers were getting ready for parties or hanging out with friends. And amidst this small dhampir commune, every family had a story. They all had stories about happiness and great times, and they all had stories about their fears. But on this Friday night, most families were focussing on the good.

Dimitri Belikov hated Fridays.

He despised every minute of it. Right down to 11:59 pm, everything about Friday set him on edge, and gave him a feeling of vulnerability. He hated feeling vulnerable.

Friday always lied to him. It started out good. He came home from school and played with his sister Karolina, his mum made blini (spelling?) with her special sauce, and the day looked as though it might not be so bad after all.

That was until nightfall.

Whenever his mother called him inside, fear ran down his body, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. Once he went inside, he knew he wouldn't be coming out. Not until Monday morning, at least. So all night in bed, he waited. He never slept on Fridays.

It was a futile attempt at trying to draw out time. If he stayed awake long enough and didn't fall asleep then maybe, just maybe, morning might never come.

Saturday was worse than Friday.

"Dimka?" a small, timid voice awoke him from his sleep.

Dimitri opened his eyes wide. He'd fallen asleep and hadn't even realised. A jolt of panic stung his heart. Was it Saturday already?

"What's wrong Karo?" his asked his sister, struggling to find her brown eyes in the dark. It wasn't morning yet. He let out a breath.

Karolina was leaning over Dimitri's bed. He wriggled back against the wall to make room for her. She slid in beside him and pulled up the covers.

"I'm scared." He heard so much emotion behind those words that he felt like crying. But he had to be the strong one. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.

They stayed like that until morning came.

"It's too dark in here. I'm scared."

"Be quiet!"

Dimitri held his hand over his sister's mouth. Sonya struggled a bit before giving up. When Dimitri was sure she wasn't going to talk, he released her. He felt his baby sister, Viktoria, cuddle up to his side. She was still half asleep, despite it being nearly 10 o'clock, but he figured the body clock of a 1 year old didn't really pay attention to the rest of the world.

"Dimka," Sonya whispered, "why are we hiding in here? I can't even see my hands."

Karo answered for him. "Do you want him to find us?"

Even though he couldn't see her, Dimitri knew Sonya would be scowling. "He always finds us. What's the point of even hiding?"

"Shh! I can hear something." Karo whispered as she moved closer Dimitri.

Bang. All four children jumped a little inside the small closet. Some of their grandmother's clothes tickled the back of Dimitri's neck.

Bang. Sickening bubbles boiled in his stomach.

Bang. It was too close—he had to be outside the door.

Bang. The door slammed open, and then there was silence.

Dimitri tried so hard not to breathe. Not to make a sound of any kind. He desperately prayed that maybe—just this once—their dad wouldn't find them.

His prayers were never answered.

Most children his age absolutely despised Sunday nights. They meant the start of another week of school. But for Dimitri, Monday couldn't come fast enough.

Sometimes he wished his family didn't live so close to the Vampire and Dhampir Academy, St Basil's. At least that way he would be able to stay there all year, and only come home for Christmas. He could board there, and never have to put up with another weekend.

But his fantasies were just the childish wish from someone who had no control over their life.

Through the wall, Dimitri could hear his big sister's sobs. Dimitri cringed, remembering how hard their dad had hit her this time. He was almost certain it was harder than when he'd last hit their mother.

It was late, so Dimitri had to tiptoe quietly to his sister's room across the hall. She'd stopped sobbing, but Dimitri thought he could still hear sniffles.

"Karo?" he whispered, half hoping that maybe she'd fallen asleep. He peeked around the door and saw her sitting on the bed, her arms wrapped around her knees, rocking back and forth slightly. She lifted her tear soaked face off her knees and looked at him.

"Why is it always us?" she cried hoarsely, burying her face again.

Dimitri couldn't answer. Instead, he walked slowly towards her, and wrapped his arms around her. She shifted her body to hug him, and started crying into his chest.

"H-he never touches Sonya. Or Viktoria. Why doesn't he ever hurt them?" a new wave of sobs racked her body.

Dimitri hugged her tighter. "Do you want him to hurt them?"

She looked at him with dark, glaring eyes. "You know I don't." she practically growled. They were silent for a few minutes, and Karo's breathing became normal again. "Why doesn't mum ever try to stop him?"

Again, Dimitri couldn't answer, though he frequently wondered he same thing. Dimitri tried not to resent their mother, but if she wasn't so high all the time, she might realise how badly their dad was hurting them. If only she knew…

yes, if only she did know, i would not feel compelled to continue this story that will probably end up rather gruesome... but then we wouldnt have such a baddass russian god named guardian belikov