I stared darkly at my uncle. Imprisonment sure did a number on him and he deserved it all. He continued to cower and show fear. I had once felt an equal to him, but now I have to say that I certainly didn't feel anywhere near his level.

"Dorin Dragomir, you are hereby fated to be destroyed. You have betrayed your sovereigns and committed treason, and you will pay with your existence. You have purposely given me tainted blood and for a suitable punishment you will see yourself the effects of it until my husband is well enough to destroy you inevitably."

"Have mercy! It is not my doing at all! It is your entire cousin's fault. Ylenia Dragomir should be punished! Please Antanasia!" He pleaded.

Although a part of me sympathized with him and did not want to cause him harm, I was still princess and it my duty to protect law. Lucius and I had my made it clear to the elders that in our reign, the law would always be above all and justice will prevail.

"My decision is final. Do not cry. You shame the Dragomir name. I am appalled you are even my kin." It was kind of harsh I know, but it shut him up anyway. "Ylenia will be tried and punished as well. I do not have any more time for this." That was actually a lie because I did have time. The trial was going faster than I estimated. "Guards, take him away."

Suddenly guards came out of the shadows of courtroom and began to escort the criminal to incarceration where he would be prepared to his ultimate demise. Just when they were about to leave the door I spoke,

"Oh and Dorin, that is PRINCESS ANTANASIA to you."

As I watched Dorin get taken away by the guards I could feel the elders nod their heads. When I married Lucius everyone had known that I definitely was not princess material. Me, included, in those who had doubts. The only person who seemed to have some faith in my leadership potential was Lucius.

Right now though, despite the fact I had just sent one of my cousins to be destroyed, felt a bit of hope that I would soon be respected as a ruler.

I looked straight at the elders including Flaviu who seemed to be always intent on finding my flaws and decided to end the day. "Dorin Dragomir will be incarcerated for the following days. Once we hold Ylenia Dragomir's trial and declare our sentence, we will have him destroyed."

Flaviu sneered, "And who shall be doing this destroying? Not you, perhaps?"

He was testing me. To him, pointing out the meager detail that although I was a vampire ruler, I was still weak in their so called art of violence because I was a newbie and a female. In this world, despite the glory it was to fight, it was rare for female vampires to actually own a stake nevertheless even hold one. Due to recent events though, I had become an exception to that tradition. Raniero and I had become close during the investigation of Claudiu's death. I had learned his roots which was much more violent that thought of, but also learned of his kindred heart and why my husband had indeed considered him a friend. He had taught me the basics in using a stake just enough to actually defend myself. Once I got the hang of that of course, Raniero (and Lucius) then told I still had a long way to go which I hold no problem in agreeing.

I decided to ignore Lucius' sinister uncle's sarcasm and answered him in a tone that I even bet my royal birthmother would have been proud. "Of course not Flauvis. The act of destroying should remain with my husband for he as the prince should have the honor of doing so. Personally, whether or not he was the ruler of our clans or not, it seems fit for he was the one framed in this conspiracy created by my deranged cousins. And in that note, I declare this court as a finished session. The trial date for Ylenia Dragomir will be announced in our next weekly meeting."

I motioned the guards to open the door and then proceeded out of the courtroom as the first person out. Although I had been living in the estate for a while now, it still seemed like there was probably whole wings that I hadn't known yet. Fortunately, I had become accustomed to actually finding the royal bedroom.

Before going to the courtroom, I had last seen Lucius sleeping on the bed. While being without sustenance while imprisoned, he was basically bordering the state of luat. For strong vampire like Lucius, large amounts of blood were essential and without it can cause deadly consequences.

Suddenly switching to wife-mode, I had ordered him to rest in bed so he could fully recover the horrible experience which was being denied any blood. He wanted to come to Dorin Dragomir's trial, but I couldn't allow it. I told him he needed to rest because of the horrible experience of no blood, but then he just responds that the only horrible experience he has ever encountered was being away from me and my mother's vegan casserole. Obviously I responded with a kiss, but also letting him know his sweet talk isn't going to let me allow him to go. He humored me and actually stayed.

I think. Lucius was not in the bed nor was he on the nearby desk. I did a double take and was suddenly worried. I felt a glimmer of wind and remembered my training so I did the fastest 180 degree turn ever to see my attacker.

"Hmmm...Raniero has taught you well. Your instincts seem more heightened and alert. A normal person would have not noticed my sneak attack. Though, you didn't actually reach for your stake. We'll have to work on that, love."