The cold wind brushed against, only slightly blocked by my jacket. The moon was high in the sky and all the stars, foreign to myself, shinned above my head, each like a single piece of silver glitter on a black canvas. There was many times i had tried to count all the stars at home. every time i tried id lose count because i got so lost in their beauty, the truly mesmerized me. counting the stars soothed me, put me at ease, a way to cope that i have done way to many times while i have been here. But i had no choice, i was going mad. *she* was driving me mad. everything she did, everything she said, even the way she moved and got that sparkle in her eyes, similar to the stars— no, exactly like the stars, drove me closer to the edge of insanity.

Faith finally pulled up on the edge of the Packwood's farm, her white convertible booming her tacky american pop music. i slightly shy away from her bright headlights that shone right on me... shying away from bright lights, how clichéd. she turns off the engine and hops out the drivers side giving me a tight squeeze. "Luc!" she grins, a slight smirk lying underneath. i hesitantly give her a hug back, as i always do. out of the corner of my eye i see a light glowing through a window in the Packwood home. a pain forms in my head and my heart slows a bit and i slightly dread who's light is on.

"come, Faith, let us go inside." i hastily pull her along to my dwelling above the Packwood's car park, or garage, as the americans call it. we scurry across the field and up into my small apartment space. Faith drops her red bag on the floor and plops herself down on my bed. Faith is a pretty creature, nevertheless, her hair was golden silk and skin with few to none imperfections. but my mind somehow always wandered back to the curly haired beauty who i know had their light on in the Packwood house. Her skin was the shade of snow, her perfectly chaotic curls topped off her doll like head and how she had those curves. those curves that faith completely lacked. My, *she* was not just beautiful, no, beautiful was an insult to her looks, she was stunning. and with those stars in her eyes, i didnt know how i kept my control. By just one slip of my self-restraint, i could just—

"Luc?" Faith interrupted my mind boggling thoughts. "you just gunna stand there and make my trip all the way over here a waste?" i glowered at her ice-ridden eyes for a moment. i then took a breath, rechanneling my thoughts. i merely smiled smiled at Faith and took a seat down next to her, cupping her face in my hands and i pressed my lips to hers. it was my only way of distracting myself from *her*. i moved faith into my lap, tugging slightly at her blouse. i tried to focus in on the moment but my mind kept on wandering back to *her*, and what she might be doing at this very moment in time. *she* consumed my mind all the time, and even when i dreamed, it was *her*. and not by choice.

"hey, you guys!" a voice all too familiar beckoned out, the door to my broom closet of a room opening and shutting. "what are you up to?" Faith practically sprang out of my lap, but i held her in place. The nerve. The nerve of *her*. i sat still and solemn and unphased, though my heart rate had picked up and gums began to swell. *she* was only in her shorts and hideous bedtime shirt that she wore, but despite that, she looked gorgeous, as she always did. Finally embracing her luscious curls that she had used to hide.

"God Jenn, dont you knock? *some* people have sex lives." Faith sneered. *She* glared over at Faith, irritation in her eyes. i stayed in the same position, watching intently and lightly brushing my hand against Faith's smooth baby pink skirt.

"What do you want, Jess?" i finally come to say, trying to keep my emotionless state.

"maybe she wants her pots and pans." Faith smirked. "you know, to do her hair." Jessica's irritation now turned to anger. This was not going to have the best of outcomes.

"i cant smell the hair anymore." Jessica grumbled. "the stench of peroxide is so strong. you'd better ease up on the bleach, Faith, or you'll wind up bald." Jessica was on her toes and Faith was ready to pounce. And frankly, i was afraid she actually would.

"i could do worse. better bald then a Brillo head." Faith snorted.

"Better a Brillo head then a bitch." Jess countered. Her normally starry eyes now were not stars, no, those two orbs were burning with anger and filled with fire. i was still, and full of shock. And now, most seriously in my mind i was now absolutely positive. *She* would make the most powerful queen.

"Did you hear what she just said to me Luc? are you going to let her call me a bitch?" Faith, Faith was no terrifying or scary as Jessica put her. It was basically amusing to me for her to think that she is intimidating. especially to me.

i let out a chuckle. i felt jessica's fiery orbs lock down on me. "Oh Faith," i smirked. "accept the compliment." she took her prim hand and shoved my shoulder, only making me want to laugh more.

"Watch it Luc." she warned, attempting to to be frightful. i just roll my eyes at this remark and turn my attention towards the heated beauty across the room.

"i repeat: what do you want, Jessica?" her cheeks reddened a bit.

"i need help with Belle in the barn." she stuttered. "i think shes favoring a leg, but i want your opinion. you know horses better than me." although her eyes stayed locked on mine, i could tell she was lying.

"call a veterinarian." i tried to wave her off, i didnt need to spend more time with her. "i'm no horse healer."

"come on Lucius," she pushed. "it will just take a minute." her deep orbs glared over at Faith for a moment and then back at me, fixating back down to big doe-eyes.

"its nearly ten o'clock." i try and point out. *go away jessica.*"the horse will live until morning. And we are rather preoccupied here." my gums only swelled more as she spoke to me. *go away jessica.* i saw her eyes widen a bit and i scold myself for showing any emotion.

"Lucius," my name smoothly rolled off her plush lips. "be reasonable." Faith let out a scoff.

"i am so done with pointless banter," Faith finally broke out of my grasp. "Later, Luc." i held her arm, she was the only way i could make Jessica leave.

"Dont go." i say almost completely monotone. but yet she broke free again.

"its getting kinda late anyway, Lucius. And my parents are going to kill me if i break curfew again." Faith grumbled picking up her purse. she gave me a quick peck and began her departure. Jessica suddenly snatches Faiths boney arm, holding it firmly in her grasp.

"the name is Jess, by the way. Remember it next time." Jessica growled at her.

"Oh, i will. and you'll be sorry i do." faith yanked her arm away and stormed out, leaving the door wide open. i stood up, whisking my way over, smoothly shutting the door closed to the outside world.

"what you see in her?" Jessica demanded. Jessica's anger now turned to furiousity. "she is the most evil person i have ever known." i looked down at her, i was well above her petite hight.

"You know worse, Jessica. Trust me. Why are you really here." i knew it was her light on in the house no matter how much i dreaded it.

"To save you, you idiot!" she scolded me. "you are going to bite Faith! You're totally out of control!" i am taken off guard for a moment, then groan, remembering how i tried to hold back the swelling under my gums. guess i had not tried hard enough. i groaned, rubbing my face, my groan then turned into frustration.

"Jessica— do not meddle in this." i warned her.

"even if you dont care about me, or yourself, or the pact, have you even thought about what will happen to Faith if you two get carried away? you're messing around with her soul, too. i might hate her, but what you're doing— its not right" is she serious? oh how she spiked my adrenaline, it was almost comical.

"Faith's soul." i scoff. "Faith is already as corrupt a soul as you can imagine. Dont worry about Faith. she lies, cheats, and would probably kill to get what she wants." i came up real close to Jessica, boring my eyes down at her. "i've seen into Faith's soul, and it's just as dark as mine." my lips curl up into a small smirk. "that's why we are so good together. we are one in the same." *please, now go away Jessica.*

Her eyes were heavy and full of grief, like she was mourning the loss of a close friend or family member, but as quickly as that look was there she replaced it with unstable confidence.

"you can't base your life on a novel." she murmurs.

"what are you talking about?" i ask puzzled.

"she's not Catherine, and you're not Headcliff. You dont have to destroy eachother." she explains rather flustered.

"you read too much into small drama." i brush her off. "a high school diversion."

"you dont think its a diversion. i know you, Lucius." she knows me? she think she knows me!?

"you do not know me!" my voice boomed loudly. this girl, she made me lose almost every ounce of my self control. my blood boiled inside my skin and a pounding formed in my head. i expected her to back down but she stood her ground firmly.

"i do know you." she said strongly. "you are an honorable vampire. you are *royalty*. and Faith is not your equal." she scolded me. "she is not even a vampire."

"neither are you." i shot back almost a little too quickly. i ran my fingers through her hair, gripping onto some of the unruly curls. "you've changed your hair, you've changed your clothes, you've read the guide, but you dont know anything about being a vampire." i took a breath trying to calm myself back down to an emotionless state, but she made it so hard to keep the icy facade that i had obtained perfectly. "you saw my uncles. are you ready for that world?"

"i was born to *rule* that world." she growled at me. "you know it! you taught me that!" i couldnt help but let out a dark chuckle. i could see her ruling, see her taking power, but the bitter though of anything anything ever happening her because of that innocence she still slightly harvested, well, id only have myself to blame. and i couldnt live with myself if anything ever happened to her.

"indeed?" i question. "you can barely utter the words, let alone take the throne." i grumble.

"you're just hurt, Lucius." i could hear the plea in her soft voice. "dont throw away your... existence over a fight with your uncle." *go away jessica.* please, just go away.

"get out." i growled, a small pinch came in my mouth and the two sharp razor like teeth came forward. i saw she was slightly taken aback, but she was still so strong, not moving back one stop from me. She glowered at me.

"No." i was appalled by her stubbornness.

"dont push me. you have no idea what i'm capable of." i grip onto her shoulders, trying to talk some sense into her. "didnt you see what they did to me? that blood is in me." i was ashamed, ashamed of who i am. i dont want to be that monster. and i sure as hell dont want to bring Jessica anywhere near that, let alone make her one.

"you wont hurt me." it was not a statement, it was more of a command she gave me. Jessica broke free of my grip and her eyes scanned the room. her hand darted for the cup on my bedside stand. She held the cup with the crimson clotted liquid in it, a half mad look in her eyes.

"Jessica dont-" i yelled out, trying to snatch the cup from her. she pushed back the cup to her pale, plush pink lips. the redness falling all around her lips and down her face, dripping onto her shirt. a lump in my throat formed. i was paralyzed. i didnt know what to do. Jessica shoved the cup into me and i instinctively grabbed it, still in shock.

"There." she finished darkly. "dont ever tell me that im not ready to rule." i still stood quite. i was just utterly speechless. she pushed past me out the door and slamming it shut.

meek little Jessica Packwood. she was no more after doing that. She had positively shown she would be a fearsome ruler over my— our people. oh no, she was no more Jessica Packwood. She was Antanasia Dragomir. i only hoped that Antanasia had those starry eyes that Jessica did, how i hope she did.