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Kyra & Sebastian:

The Beginning

Prequel to the Bloods Passion Saga


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Copyright © 2019 Adom Sample.

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Published by Adom Sample

Edited by Nikki Mentges

Cover Design by KalosysArt

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

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Table of Contents

The Bloods Passion Saga

Sebastian of Orias

First Sight

Hymane Bound

End It Before It Begins

No Games Tonight

First Encounter

Courting Moon: Vampyre’s Desire

The Bloods Passion Saga: The Complete Series

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Sebastian of Orias

“Sebastian. It’s time,” my father says, placing his hand on my shoulder. I don’t want to leave my room, as I know what awaits me in his chambers. As much as I want to avoid my lessons, today is the day my excuses have worn thin. My father, the Count of Orias, has caught on to my avoidances.

The kingdom of Orias, in all its magnificent glory, will soon have its favorite son take his place in Varinia, home of all the highest-ranking nobles. There, I will learn the ways of the Vampyre. Damonia, the Queen of Orias, is set to proclaim me Sebastian of Orias on this day. I’m reluctant to go through with this because I know what it will mean.

My fate is planned, as my life isn’t my own. Even before my birth, my family had predestined the journey I’m to travel. As with all Vampyres of nobility, my bloodline only exists to serve the will of the Coven. An aristocratic authoritarian regime, the Coven of Vampyres serves as a guiding light for human and Vampyre alike. Or so the party line says. And I am to become a significant part of that rule—something I don’t want and haven’t asked for.

My father told me long ago that each generation mustn’t take what is not given. Nor can we refuse what fate has bestowed on us. And for me, fate has given a most precious gift in the eyes of my father, who will take me to the kingdom of Varinia to learn our ways. I have no choice but to hide my displeasure and go through the motions. I don’t want to dishonor my father in front of our queen.

Despite the fact that the queen has tried to take my virginity on more than one occasion, I don’t want to leave Orias. It’s my home, after all. On the bright side of things, my moving to Varinia will see to it that I get away from Queen Damonia, since her bloodlust for me is intolerable. While I spent most of my childhood in Varinia, I’m in no rush to live there permanently. If the stories I’ve heard are true, then I should probably invest in a chastity belt.

“Are you ready, my son? Today’s your big day,” my father says. My fangs extend regardless of how hard I try to keep them from doing so.

“I guess so,” I reply. Two beautiful women dressed in next to nothing, one with hair of gold and the other of dark red, approaches me from behind.

“Very well, then. They will get you ready.” My father leaves the room as the two women draw nearer to me. The lust-influence radiating from their pores is making me sweat. I ought to be used to it by now, as most women seem to have this gift.

“You’ve grown, Sebastian. You’re turning into quite the Vampyre Varinia will need,” says the woman with gold hair. Together, they undress me until I’m fully nude. Despite my raging hormones, I wish my father could have forgone this ritual. It’s driving me mad that I have to wait until I’m wed to give myself to someone.

My bride has already been chosen, and soon I’ll have to meet her in Varinia. In the meantime, I’ll have to suffer through only looking and not touching. If I fail, my father will know immediately. He’ll be able to sense when my virginity has left me. I have no choice but to stay strong.

“I remember many centuries ago when your father went through this ritual, Sebastian. He was hard as a rock. You, however, have much more restraint,” says the redhead as she lifts my cock and rinses my manhood with sacred milk from a genetically modified Euphorbia trigona plant in the Shadow Lands. It feels more like sap than milk, and it’s making me itch like crazy. The other washes my backside and legs.

Their fangs are apparent, as is the drool creeping from the sides of their lips. I can sense they want a piece of me, but they know the rules better than anyone. I am to be delivered to Mireya, Queen of Varinia, untouched. Any man or woman who lays hands on me in an impure way will be put to death. My father says I’m the one who will help in fulfilling the Coven’s destiny. I just wish he would tell me what that destiny is. Unfortunately, it requires me to be a virgin until I’m wed before the Courting Moon. I hope this whole ordeal is done with quickly. After I’m mated, my life can be my own, but until then, I have to live in a bubble that most think is paradise. Unknown to them, it’s more like a prison.

As the milk ripples down my backside and abs, I look down and notice the woman in front of me shaking. Her mood-eyes shift from gold to gray and her gaze is fixated on my cock. She opens her mouth and growls sensually.

“I’m sorry, but I need this,” she exclaims.

“Asa!” shouts the other woman, snapping her out of the realm of lust. I take a few steps back to create some distance between us.

“You don’t understand, Cara. He has an aphrodisiac in his blood. Can’t you sense it?” says Asa with her mouth only an inch from my cock.

“I am fully aware of that. But our job is to prepare him for Queen Mireya. The Count of Orias would have our heads if we touched his son. There’s plenty of noble blood in Varinia, so keep your damn legs closed until we get there,” barks Cara. My cock is throbbing, as the warmth of Asa’s breath is soothing and tantalizing. I’ll have to relieve myself as soon as I get the chance.

Hissing, Asa stands and gazes into my eyes. “As soon as you’re wed, you’re mine, Sebastian,” she threatens. Gathering her things, she pierces me with her gaze one last time before leaving the room.

“Don’t worry about her, Sebastian. She’s just thirsty,” Cara remarks. With the bucket of milk almost finished, she takes it from the floor and pours the rest over my head. I wipe my eyes and face so I can see straight.

“Is all this necessary?” I ask. The milk is starting to annoy me, and it smells strange.

“This is the way of the Vampyre. You’re young, so you may not understand the full depth of the ritual. But you will soon, my child.” She takes a wet cloth and wipes me down, cleansing my skin of the milk. Whatever is in this stuff has made my skin twice as pale as it usually is. All Vampyres are naturally pale, but now I’m as white as a cloud. “You are quite delicious, Sebastian. Anastacia of Varinia is a lucky woman,” Cara says before draping me in a black robe.

“Is that the name of the woman I’m supposed to marry?”

“Yes. Your father didn’t tell you?”

“No, he didn’t. No one tells me anything around here.” I close the robe and tie the belt of it around my waist.

“Don’t worry, young one. Once you turn twenty, you will be given much more leeway in the information you seek about the Coven and our traditions.”

“But I turn twenty tomorrow.”

“This is the precise reason you’re moving to Varinia. The Courting Moon will soon be upon us, and on that day you and Anastacia will be one.” She smacks me on my backside and laughs. “You’re all done. Go now; your father is waiting.” I roll my eyes. With my ability to control the elements, I lift my finger in her direction. “Don’t do it, Sebastian,” she warns. With a sly smirk, I use my gift to control the wind and blow her dress clean off her body. Standing there in her panties and bra, she swiftly covers herself with her arms, crouching down.

“That’s for the smack,” I say.

“Sebastian!” my mother shouts, entering the room.

I jump and turn around innocently. “She started it.” I try to hide my smile.

“Countess of Orias.” Cara trembles. “Please forgive me for being improperly dressed.”

My mother scoffs with her fangs extended. “It’s all right, Cara. I know my son can be a handful sometimes. Speaking of which, is he ready?”

“Yes, Countess. The ritual is complete. He’s ready for his father to receive him.” Cara stands with her head still bowed. I glance at both her and my mother. It always annoys me when people speak as if I’m not in the room with them.

“Come, Sebastian. The kingdom of Orias awaits, as does your father,” my mother says. Cara puts her dress back on as my mother and I walk out of the room and down the hallway. I’m going to miss this place. The estate of our kingdom is unlike the one in Varinia. Ours is made purely of white marble and gold. The palace in Varinia is entirely black, from the interior to the exterior, which makes it a bit dull in my opinion.

A few positives I look forward to are being able to see my friend Alessandro every day once I’ve settled in. Not to mention most of my friends already live in Varinia. And I plan to raise hell once I’m there. Orias, while a significant place for any young noble to live, yet is far too restrictive. It’s going to be nice to get a little freedom for once.

My mother and I approach the massive balcony of our palace, which overlooks the entire kingdom. My father is sitting next to the entryway holding a bright red robe of nobility; the collar is littered with black tiger stripes. He places it on my shoulders, and it covers me from neck to toe.

“Are you ready to become Sebastian of Orias?” he asks me.

I sigh. “Yes, Father. I’m ready.”

Two guards open the shining glass doors to the balcony. I step out and gaze upon millions of people, all cheering once they lay their eyes on me. This is a special day for me, yet I feel so empty. Something is missing, and I have an idea as to what it is. It’s my lack of freedom to choose. Queen Damonia and my father present me to the crowd; my mother is standing close by. I attempt to put on a triumphant face for them.

“Citizens of Orias and fellow nobles of the Coven of Vampyres,” the queen says, “today is the day I present to you the son of Orias—the second most powerfully gifted Vampyre the world has ever seen. In the beginning, we struggled to centralize our power and create order in this world. With the coming of Markandeyi the First, he alone was able to crush humanity’s resistance to the new age and establish peace and order with the birth of our beloved Coven. Since the passing of our great leader all those centuries ago, we have looked to the future with hope. The offspring of Sebastian and Anastacia of Varinia will see us led into a new era of prosperity and peace.”

The entire kingdom roars with cheers, as does every noble in Varinia as seen from the holographic view screens in the sky.

“On this day, Count and Countess of Orias, I proclaim your son to be Sebastian of Orias. Varinia awaits you, my child!” she exclaims. They all cheer louder than before. I bow to the queen, my parents, and everyone in our kingdom from the balcony. Queen Mireya appears on the view screen, fangs revealed, smiling.

“So be it. My daughter awaits you, Sebastian of Orias. Today truly is a day of days.” She waves her hand, and the view screen vanishes, as do all the other holographic images being transmitted from Varinia.

The ceremony is done, and I am now to be known as Sebastian of Orias for all time. My family has solidified their power within the Coven. I guess I’m glad for them. My father being a ranking member of the Coven since the death of Markandeyi the First, he’s worked centuries for this. As long as I can make my family proud, then so too will I be proud. My father places both hands on my shoulders, and I begin to float. My body glows red as he encases me in a bubble of energy for transportation to Varinia.

“You know, Father, I can walk,” I say as I float above his head.

“Of course you can walk, but I don’t want you to ruin the royal robe you’re wearing. Just relax, my son. We’ll be in Varinia before you know it.”

I do as my father requests and relax as I glide above him. It looks as if I’ll be returning to my old room there. And I can’t wait. The first thing I’m going to do is take a bath in that large tub they installed in my room not too long ago. I need to get the remnants of this milk off my body, as it’s irritating me like crazy.

“We’ve done it. We’ve finally established our place in the Coven. Soon, no one will be able to challenge us,” says my mother. Father grins before kissing her forehead. I can’t help but to internally balk at their conversation. They speak as if I’m some tool to further their political ambitions. I’m more of a means than a son to them. At least that’s the way I feel.

Then again, that’s the way things have always been. In a world where love and passion are forbidden, it isn’t surprising that many feel nothing for one another. I just hope someday soon this all changes. Tomorrow will be my twentieth birthday, and I’ll be leaving my teen years behind. I can’t imagine spending the rest of eternity in a loveless existence. I don’t see how anyone can put up with that. All things change. I just hope the Coven allows it.

“Dusk approaches, my queen. We will depart for the Flatlands now,” my father says.

“Have a safe journey and watch out for daggerwolves when you enter the Shadow Lands. Give my regards to Queen Mireya,” she says. He bows and turns to walk away, but the queen takes hold of his arm. “I’ll miss our nights together,” she whispers to both my parents. Discreetly, the queen licks my father’s ear while caressing my mother’s shoulder. My parents smile before giving their farewells. I honestly did not need to see or hear that. I turn away as best as I can and hold my ears so I won’t have to endure any more of it.

“Do you wish to travel by air or by land?” asks Aeshma, one of the head guards of the Reeducation Center in Varinia. He’s also the administrator of the Offering Center—a place where the remaining humans are taken to be processed for their blood.

“What do you think, you raging buffoon? Yes, let’s travel by land and be slaughtered by daggerwolves in the Shadow Lands. I swear you become more foolish each time you open your disgusting mouth,” my mother hisses. My parents have always been so rude to Aeshma and his twin brother, Darmoth. While his suggesting we travel by land isn’t very smart, I don’t think there’s any need to belittle him the way they do.

“I’m sorry, Countess. I was only—”

“You were only being an idiot as usual,” my father interjects. “Why does Queen Mireya always send this ridiculous excuse for a Vampyre to escort us back to Varinia?” My parents sigh.

“He’s only trying to help,” I comment, still floating above them.

“He can help by ceasing to exist,” Mother says, much to my father’s amusement. Aeshma lowers his eyes as he leads us to the aircraft bound for my new home.

“Right this way,” he says, followed by a slight growl.

“Is that disrespect I hear in your voice?” My father points his finger directly into Aeshma’s face. “You know the pain I can inflict upon you. Do you wish to know this pain?” His finger starts to glow red.

Sweat forms on Aeshma forehead and he stumbles back, never taking his eyes off my father. “No, my lord. Please forgive me for my disobedience. Right this way.” Aeshma lowers his head in submission. We walk out into the bunker where our aircraft awaits. The pilot has already begun preparations for takeoff. Father enters the aircraft and, in doing so, releases me from the bubble of energy he encased me in. Finally, I can walk on my own.

“One day, you pathetic little cretin”—Mother grabs Aeshma by the throat and hisses, her fangs almost touching his left cheek—“the entire Coven will celebrate as I drink you dry.” She tosses him to the ground, and I can’t help but feel sorry for him. He’s only doing his job.

“This way, Sebastian,” Father calls. Mother takes my hand and guides me onto the aircraft.

“You know, Sebastian, the Offering is a few months away,” she says. “How would you like to join your friend Alessandro in discussing the number of humans we will be harvesting this year? It’s best for you to start learning the ways of the Coven now. It is in our family’s best interest for you to rise in the ranks of the Coven quickly. Agreed?” she asks as if I have a choice. Father nods.

“Of course. Whatever you wish,” I say unenthusiastically. I take my seat, then lie back and enjoy the view of the bright blue moon and dark clouds. I knew this day was coming, so I’m not sure why I feel the way I do. Something in my life is missing. I just hope the next nineteen years of my life won’t be dictated to me as the first nineteen.

“Is there anything special you want to do for your birthday?” my mother asks.

“Perhaps you can finally indulge yourself in the finest human blood Varinia has to offer,” my father suggests.

“You know my policy on drinking human blood, Father.”

“Your policy is foolish, son. For the life of me, I will never understand why you refuse to drink human blood. Synthetic blood, for me, is almost undrinkable.”

“Because . . . why kill innocent people when we already have the means to survive without doing so?”

“Listen to me, Sebastian.” My mother sits next to me. “Human lives only exist to benefit our kind. They are our food. Nothing more. You mustn’t think of them as anything but.” She caresses my hand.

“Your mother’s right. Once you’ve lived for a few more decades, you will see the ways of the world.”

“Maybe the ways of the world need to change,” I say, much to their surprise.

My mother grips my hand. “You are not to speak such words when we enter Varinia. We don’t want people to think of your ideas like those of Emmanuel Laskar d’Font.”

“Mother, I’m just saying—”

“Enough,” my father interrupts. “We will not discuss this any further. The world is the way it is, and there is no changing it. Understood?”

I sigh. “Yes, Father.”

Mother smiles. “Good. Now relax. We’ll be in Varinia soon. There’s a welcome-back celebration waiting for us there, so just rest. Have a blood bag if you wish. You’ll need all the energy you can get. We’ve prepared something special for you.” A woman I assumed was one of the servants makes her way toward us from the back of the aircraft. She has silky light-blue hair that is almost memorizing to me. Wearing a white see-through nightgown with nothing underneath, she flaunts her thick, voluptuous curves at me before handing me a glass of blood.

“It’s synthetic just the way you like,” she says.

I take a sip and exhale. “Thank you.”

“Beautiful, isn’t she?” My father smiles as she hands him a glass as well.

“Yes, she is.” I take another sip.

“Good. Because she’s yours.”

I cough and almost spit up the blood in my mouth. “Mine?”

“That’s correct. She’s your new bather. She will cleanse your body whenever you see fit,” my mother says.

I turn to the woman, and she bows, exposing her full cleavage. “Thanks,” I say, trying to hide my shock.

“Take heed, my son. You are not to give yourself to anyone until after you’ve joined with Anastacia. Therefore, when she’s bathing you, you must control yourself regardless of the lust-influence she emits,” my father warns.

I scoff. “I’ve controlled myself for almost twenty years; I’m sure I can wait a few more months.”

My mother laughs.

“You won’t have to wait much longer then,” the woman says. She takes my empty glass and walks seductively to the back of the aircraft. My mother winks at my father and joins the woman in the back. I know what they’re going to do. After all, it is the way of the Vampyre. My father, who starts to sweat, looks at them and then back at me.

“I’ll be fine here by myself. Go ahead,” I say, giving him the green light for whatever they plan to do back there. He runs his fingers through my hair before racing to the back of the aircraft. I sigh and close my eyes.

I hope they’re able to keep the noise down enough so that I can rest a bit. During my childhood visits to Varinia, I saw things like this happen all the time. And now that I’m going to live there permanently, it looks as if I’m going to be surrounded by it my every waking moment. Luckily, I’ll have the freedom to wander outside the palace walls.

Perhaps I’ll venture into the Shadow Lands for some peace and quiet. Or maybe even the neutral territory, which separates Varinia and the human city of Hymane. Either way, I’ll be glad once we get there. I’m sure Alessandro will challenge me to a revamp game as soon as we land. And as always, he won’t stand a chance.

First Sight

“I can’t believe it! You’re here for good?” Alessandro rushes me the moment I make it to my room. We hug each other tightly as we always do.

“It’s been a long time, old friend.”

The woman my parents gave me steps into the room as well, having accompanied me from the aircraft.

“Who’s she?” Alessandro asks. I can almost see the drool running down the corner of his lip.

“A gift from my parents. She’s my bather.”

“Since when do we get bathers?” he asks with a hint of jealousy.

“Since now, I guess.” I laugh.

“Would you like to get started, Sebastian of Orias?” she asks, removing her nightgown. Alessandro and I both stand there with our jaws dropped. There’s no way I’m getting into the bath with this woman. If I do, I can guarantee my virginity will be no more.

“H-how long before you can have sex?” Alessandro asks me as he breathes in her lust-influence.

“I’m not sure. When the Courting Moon comes. Seven or eight months from now, I think.” I take a few steps back and hold my breath to keep from inhaling her hypnotic scent. I can’t tell if it’s just a natural reaction or if she’s doing this on purpose. Her fangs extend as she approaches us.

“Are you ready?” She gives me a piercing stare, and I begin to sweat bullets.

“No, I’m not ready. Alessandro here, however, hasn’t had a bath in two days. You may bathe him if you wish.”

He looks directly at me. “What are you talking about? I just bathed two hours—”

“I’m trying to help you out here. I’m not allowed, remember? You, on the other hand, are free to do as you please. Now shut up and take this woman out of here so I can relieve myself in peace,” I whisper. The fact that I have to relieve myself on my own is depressing, but those are the rules.

“Are you sure?” He tries to hide his excitement.

“Yes, please. I don’t know how much more of her lust-influence I can take,” I plead of him. She continues to watch us as we talk amongst ourselves.

“I’ll start the water,” she says. I can’t help but to stare at her backside as she walks over to my bathtub.

“That won’t be necessary. You’ll be going with my friend Alessandro. He needs your services much more than I do.”

She looks at me with confusion. “But I am here to serve you, Sebastian of Orias.”

“You’ll be serving me by doing as I command. Now, please. Service my friend. When you’re finished, you can report to the Coven’s Hall or my parents’ chambers. I need to be alone for a while.”

She bows and picks her nightgown up off the floor. “As you wish.” After sliding the nightgown onto her luscious, curvy body, she takes Alessandro’s hand and smiles. “I’m at your service.”

Alessandro’s eyes glow green, and he exhales slowly. “For the love of the gods, thank you,” he mouths to me. I laugh as they leave. Now that that stressful situation is done with, I think I’ll have a blood bag or two before taking a shower.

Queen Mireya wants to see me before sunrise, so I should be able to get a quick nap in beforehand. I shed my clothes and sit on the bed. This bed is so much softer than my bed in Orias. That’s one positive I can put on my checklist of pros and cons for having to live here. I turn on the holographic projection television to see what’s on. It seems as if the Coven is preparing for this year’s Offering. I browse the channels, but I can’t seem to find one that looks even remotely entertaining. I stop on a channel where leaders of the Coven are talking with Council members from the human city of Hymane. I lie back and place my hands behind my head.

I suppose I should learn as much as I can about the Offering since my parents want me to participate in it. As I focus on the television, I see a woman whose beauty hits me with the force of a meteor. I jump and sit straight on my bed. Never in my life have I seen someone so beautiful. She’s sitting next to the chief Councilman of the human government. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire life.

I can feel my eyes shift in color, and my hands are shaking. What is this? I gaze at the television as she sits there making slight gestures with her mouth as if she’s biting the inside of her lips. Who is she? She looks human, but her hair is pink. I didn’t know humans have different colors of hair as Vampyres do. This woman is like an angel. I have to find out who she is.

“Is everything all right, son?” My mother barges into my room. Swiftly, I turn off the television and cover myself with the sheets.

“Mother, can you knock or give me some warning before you enter my room?” My tone is one of annoyance.

“It isn’t anything I haven’t seen before. Anyway— Hey, where’s your bather?” She looks around my room, confused.

“Alessandro’s place. I need to rest a bit before meeting the queen.”

“Do I even want to know why she’s over at Alessandro’s place?”

“He hadn’t bathed in a month, so I told her to go with him,” I lie.

“Okay. Well, I brought you some swanberries and a couple of blood bags. Is there anything you need before meeting the queen?” Mother places the plate of berries on my nightstand and tosses the blood bags onto my bed.

“Just some privacy.”

She nods. “Well, let me know if you need anything else.”

I take the blood bags and put them on the corner of my bed. As soon as she leaves, I run to my door and lock it. I rush to the television and turn it back on to see if that woman is still there. Sadly, the program has ended, and I’m left with nothing. Not her name, not her position, nothing. I’ll make it my mission to find out who she is. If that woman is human, there’s only one place she can be—Hymane.

According to the Treaty of Ronakia, Vampyres aren’t allowed to venture onto human lands unless it’s for official business. Both the Coven and the human Council must agree to passage. I guess I’ll have to sneak over there somehow. No matter what it takes, I will find out who she is. I don’t know what’s come over me, but something inside me is telling me to pursue this. One little unauthorized visit to Hymane shouldn’t be all that bad. At least, I hope it won’t be.

Hymane Bound

I’m still in shock after what happened. My parents never mentioned anything about human sacrifices or the other sadistic crap I just witnessed. The gift the Coven decided to give me for my birthday was one of the most atrocious acts of violence I’ve ever seen.

In recognition of my twentieth birthday, they sacrificed two young women from Hymane so that I could bathe in their blood. The Coven calls it the cleansing—when a young Vampyre becomes a man, he must wash away the youthful innocence with the blood of virgins. I wasn’t able to stop the slaughter, but I did refuse to strip bare to allow their blood to touch my skin.

I was shielded from most acts like this when I was a child. Now, however, my parents and the Coven will see to it that I’m not only exposed to this hedonistic sadism, but also a willing participant. I understand we are Vampyres and they are food, so to speak. But I’m not used to witnessing such exploits. I stood, thanked my parents and the Coven, and walked out of there as fast as I could. I hope that’s the first and last time they ever kill for my sake.

Killing for pleasure doesn’t suit me well. It’s one of the reasons I don’t drink human blood. The way I see it, it’s cruel to do so, which is why I find myself walking toward the palace gate, having left my so-called birthday party behind. The whole thing devolved into a sybaritic mess of sexual gratification between the privileged nobles. This day was less about me and more about the Coven satisfying its thirst for human blood. I’m glad to be out of there. My mind is somewhere else anyway. I approach the front gate of Varinia where Baldassare, the head gate-guard, greets me.

“Sebastian of Orias.” He bows. “We weren’t expecting to see you here. Today is your birthday celebration, is it not?”

I’m not sure how he recognizes me. The hooded black cloak I’m wearing isn’t serving its purpose very well. I remove my hood and continue to walk toward the gate. “Where are you headed?” he asks, standing in my way.

“For a walk.” I dare not tell him exactly where I’m going. I don’t want my family to find out I’m about to break one of our treaties with the humans.

“The sun will be up in three hours. Are you sure you want to go traveling outside the kingdom’s protective field so close to sunrise?” Three hours? That’s more than enough time.

“I know the risk. Now please, allow me to pass,” I say firmly.

“Of course. One second.” He places his finger to his ear. Using my speed, I take hold of his hand and pull it away from his head as fast as I can. “Something wrong?” he asks in confusion. There isn’t any doubt he’s about to notify the Coven of me leaving. That’s the last thing I want to happen.

“My parents and a majority of the Coven members are in the palace enjoying themselves. It would be a pity for you to interrupt just to tell them I’m going for a walk.” I try to hide my subterfuge under a friendly smile.

“It would be a violation of—”

“Baldassare, please. I’ll be back in an hour, and the last thing my parents would want is to be disturbed while they’re in the middle of feeding. And to tell you the truth, I’d hate to be in the shoes of the man who interrupted them during a party of that magnitude.” I release his hand. “It’s up to you.”

He looks at me for a brief moment before lowering his gaze. “Enjoy yourself,” he says, allowing me to pass.

“Thank you. I’ll be back before my birthday party is over.”

“Be sure you are. I don’t want to have to explain to the queen why Sebastian of Orias was caught outside the protective field after sunrise.”

I laugh as the other guards open the gate for me. Placing my hood back on my head, I walk out and stare at the luscious green grass. Freedom. I take a deep breath and run past the protective field into the wilderness beyond. Passing trees and bushes with my Vampyre speed, I feel like a wild animal released from its cage. Never have I been out on my own without my parents or someone they deemed fit to be my protector hovering over me like a vulture. This is what I need.

I’m fast approaching the neutral territory, and my destination awaits. Slowing down, I come across the bridge that separates Hymane and Varinia. Once I cross this bridge, I will officially be breaking the law. One step closer to a beating from my father if he finds out, yet one step closer to the woman I saw on television yesterday. I’m torn; however, I already know what decision I’m going to make.

I turn around and casually salute Varinia farewell before crossing the bridge. It feels so exhilarating to shun consequences. It’s my birthday, after all, so I should be able to treat myself just this once. Full speed, I sprint toward Hymane without a care in the world. Thanks to Alessandro, I have the location of their chief Councilman’s home. Bruce Dunning, I believe his name is. If anyone knows who that woman is, it’ll be him. I’ll probably have to follow him for a while before he leads me to her. If that’s the case, then so be it.

It’s three in the morning, and most of the humans here are sleeping. That should give me ample time to sneak onto their lands without being discovered. This is all so dangerous but so exciting. I’m glad to be free to do as I desire. As soon as I find out who that woman is, I’m sure my obsession will be satisfied.

Approaching their lands, I slow my running to a light jog and then stop altogether. Their lands look almost medieval. This is the first time I’ve seen Hymane with my own eyes. It’s as if they’re living in the past. Just about all of their buildings and houses look ancient. Whenever my father would show me holographic images of their lands, the view screen displayed peaceful scenery with well-built modern homes. I never expected this. This is crazy. I would never have thought.

Using my gifts, I summon the fog on the surrounding lakes and cloud the entire area to conceal myself. I don’t want any lurkers to see me out here. According to the map Alessandro drew for me, Bruce Dunning’s house should be right up ahead. All the lights in their city are out except for those in the tower to keep watch for vagabonds who may want to have a midnight snack of human blood. The fog will do me good in evading those lights. I still can’t believe I’m doing this. To think, one glance at a woman on television would have me out here breaking laws and treaties. It’s far too late to turn back now. I’m here and the only direction to go is forward.

Slowly, I creep onto their lands as the fog distorts my approach. No one will be able to see me now. I walk onto the porch and gaze at my surroundings. This is definitely his home because there’s a placard on the door that reads Dunning Family. This is almost too easy. I search around the house to find a way in. Perhaps he has pictures of her somewhere in his home. It’ll be nice to wake up to a portrait of that beautiful woman on my nightstand each morning.

I climb up a tree and notice a window to one of the bedrooms is cracked open. Progress! After jumping from the tree to the window ledge, I cling to the hinges to keep from falling. Delicately, I open the window just enough to climb through. With my foot inches away from the floor, I smell something that almost makes my cold heart implode.

I crawl all the way in and see her, lying there in stillness, and I become just as motionless as she is for a brief second. My knees become weak and I almost drop to the floor. How could the gods have created a woman so stunning? Never would I have thought I’d find her here. That’s when it hits me. Of course. She must be his daughter. Gently, I close the window and take mini steps forward away into the room. Lucky for me, she’s the only one here. I take a seat on the foot of her bed and merely stare at her while she sleeps.

It was ignorant of me to think I’d be cured of my obsession by finding her. I can see now that my passion will not be rectified until she’s mine. Her shining pink hair, the curves of her body, and the way her chest moves up and down with each breath have me in a daze. My fangs protrude as I move my face nearer to her neck. I’ve never felt anything like this before. I want her blood as well as her soul. She must be my mate. I will make it happen.

“Stop hogging all the covers, Monica,” she mutters. I stand from the bed quickly as she pulls the sheets over her head, turning onto her stomach. Her backside is arched in the air, and I have to summon every iota of willpower to keep from taking her here and now. Her scent is driving me insane. I sit on the foot of the bed again and ease my hand under the sheets.

Moving my hand upward, I caress her toes. This angel of a woman doesn’t pull away, as she’s too caught in whatever dream she’s having to notice my touch. What am I doing? If I keep going, there’s no doubt she’ll wake up and find me here. My mind is telling me to go back to Varinia. But something else, something warm, is forcing me to stay. I continue to work my way up to her ankle and leg. She arches her back farther into the air as if to taunt me. That’s when I begin to wonder what she’s wearing underneath these sheets. I have to stop myself. I must.

“Kyra. Open up, please. I had a bad dream,” I hear a child say on the other side of the door. Without a second’s hesitation, I jump from her bed, open the window, and fly outside with the speed of a Vampyre. In my haste, I leave the window open.

“Monica? Is that you?” she calls.

“Open the door. Mommy and Daddy have theirs locked,” the child says. The woman lets out an annoyed sigh. I can only hear what’s going on as her room is on the second floor, making my line of sight to her nonexistent.

“You just ruined a perfectly good dream, you little booger,” she says.

“I’m sorry, Kyra. But I had a dream the fang people were coming to get me.” I can hear the little girl starting to cry. Fang people? Is that what they call us?

“Don’t worry, Monica. Vampyres aren’t allowed to cross over onto our lands. And there are guards around the city to protect us from vagabonds. Here—get into bed and let’s sleep. You have school tomorrow.” Just before the woman closes the window, she looks outside. I have my eyes locked on her, but I’m not sure if she can see me. The fog has covered me well. Rubbing her eyes, she takes another hard look in my direction.

“It’s probably nothing,” she says before closing the window. I breathe a sigh of relief. Kyra . . . Her name is Kyra. I know love is forbidden, and I’m not sure what I’m feeling right now. Could this be— No, of course it can’t. Vampyres don’t feel such things. I gaze into the distance and notice the dawn approaching. I should head back now. Turing to ash isn’t a part of the plan, nor is being trapped in Hymane until sundown. I take one last look at the window to bid my newfound angel farewell.

“Goodbye, my enchantress,” I whisper. I’m entirely under the spell she doesn’t yet know she’s cast upon me. I know the laws better than anyone. They were drilled into me as soon as I was old enough to speak. Vampyre and human fraternization is strictly forbidden, and what I’m doing can very well get me thrown into reeducation or worse. Despite all this, I’m willing to take the risk. I stretch my legs one last time, and then take off running back to Varinia. Nothing will stop me from coming here to see her again. Regardless of what it takes, I need to be a part of her life. And I must learn more about her. Until next time, Kyra Dunning.

End It Before It Begins

“Sebastian of Orias,” Baldassare says as if annoyed. I walk up to him and smile. I made it back just in time. Another few minutes and I would have been caught in the sunlight. I’ll have to leave Varinia earlier next time.

“Everything all right?” I ask.

“No, everything isn’t all right,” he says firmly.

“What’s wrong?” I remove my robe and hand it to him. I don’t want my parents to see me with it. If they did then they’ll know I went outside the kingdoms walls.

“You went to Hymane, didn’t you?” He gives me a suspicious glare. I look at him wide-eyed, frozen at the shock of him knowing. How the hell did he find out?

“No,” I lie, lowering my gaze.

“Are you sure? Because you headed right in that direction.” He points to the path I just came from. It’s no wonder he’s the head guard of Varinia. He’s too damn perceptive.

“What’s it to you if I went to Hymane? I’m free to go where I want.” I try to get past him, but he stands in my way.

“Listen, Sebastian of Orias. It isn’t my business where you go. However, it becomes my business when your parents interrogate me for an hour straight on your whereabouts. I had to lie, and I don’t enjoy lying to high-ranking members of the Coven,” he confesses. For the love of the gods. How did they know I was gone? I thought they would be too busy in their blood orgy to notice.

“What’d you tell them?” I’m screwed if Baldassare ratted me out.

“The same thing you told me. That you went for a walk. However, I pointed them in the opposite direction of where you actually went.”

I exhale in relief and pat him on the shoulder. My father’s so strict he’ll probably lock me in my room until I’m supposed to be mated if he finds out where I went. I’ll go insane if that happens. I can’t be deprived of her. I won’t.

“Why did you go to Hymane? I thought you were a strict synthetic feeder. Change of heart?” Baldassare inquires. I can’t help but notice the suspicion in his eyes. It’s making me nervous.

“How do I know you won’t tell my father once I’ve given you my reason for going? I mean, you are a loyal Coven member.”

He raises his brows. “I may be the head gate-guard of Varinia, but I am also a gentleman. Moreover, if your father finds out I allowed you to go to Hymane without his knowledge, it will be my head,” he assures me. I chuckle a bit. Looking deep into his eyes for signs of deception, I can see no change in their color. I’m reluctant to tell anyone anything. I didn’t even confide in Alessandro my reason for going. But it’s burning me up inside to say it aloud. In my short twenty years, I’ve never been so excited about anything.

“I saw a human woman on television. I was intrigued by her, so I went to take a closer look.” The words just fly out of my mouth without care for the consequences. And the word intrigued is an understatement. I don’t want to admit these feelings to myself, let alone anyone else.

“Did you kill her?” he asks.

“Of course not. I just—”

“Sebastian of Orias . . . If any of those humans caught you, they’d inform the Coven immediately. You aren’t some vagabond who’s free to roam as you choose. You serve a critical role here. It is imperative that none of those humans saw you on their lands.”

“No one saw me. Not even the woman I went to visit.”

“My suggestion to you is to do away with her.”

The shock of his suggestion sends me for a loop. “Why would you say that?”

“I’ve seen this before. A human entrances a Vampyre, and suddenly the whole system crumbles. Or worse, that Vampyre is put to death. You’d be best to drink her dry and get it over with. End this obsession before it even begins.” He looks at me as if this is more of a warning than a suggestion.

“I can’t kill her, Baldassare. She’s done nothing wrong.”

“This isn’t to punish her for wrongdoings, Sebastian. It’s to keep you from making the same mistakes others have made. Need I remind you of Coven Law 001, which states—”

“Yes, I know. Romantic love is forbidden, as is fraternization between humans and Vampyres. That’s been drilled into me since I was a child.”

“Good. Then I don’t have to remind you.” He bows and opens the gate so I can pass. I give him a sidelong glare as I make my way in. The thought of taking Kyra’s life is absurd. I will never do such a thing. Baldassare is wrong about me becoming obsessed. This Kyra is just a mere human.

What could come of it? Nothing, to be sure. I need to see her one last time before I prepare myself for the future the Coven has laid out for me. Just one more time and that will be it. I am the son of Orias, and I’m confident in my ability to suppress whatever emotions I feel surfacing. Kyra, I will visit you one last time and never again. I promise myself this. If I don’t resist, I may very well end up tasting the sensual blood that flows in her veins. Yes, tomorrow night will be the last night I lay eyes on her. For both our sakes.

No Games Tonight

Using the tunnels beneath Varinia in the old sewage system, I navigate my way in and out of our kingdom at will. I lied to myself when I said I would only see her one last time. That wasn’t to be so—Baldassare’s right. I’m obsessed with this woman. Weeks have gone by, and every night since the first when I caressed her feet with my cold hands, I’ve made my way to Hymane to see her. She’s always sleeping. I can’t fight this feeling. I’m not as strong as I thought I was.

This woman, this Kyra, is like a drug to me. Today, Alessandro challenged me to a revamp game, and I couldn’t say no. I’d planned to go to her and finally reveal myself. I suppose that will have to wait for another time. My parents and friends are becoming suspicious of where I disappear to every night.

Keeping up appearances is something I’ll have to work on. This human is consuming my life. Each night when I travel to Hymane, I see her out in the field either playing with her siblings or dancing in the moonlight. She’s like a dark angel that I must conquer. Just last night I almost made my approach. I breathed in her scent from the trees above her home. Each time I do, my fangs protrude.

What has come over me? It’s as if the beast of emotion possesses me. My parents have warned me about this all my life. In the face of her, all my strength crumbles to nothing. Perhaps I’ll forgo the game tonight and travel to Hymane. I can’t be without her any longer.

“Sebastian.” My mother enters the room again without knocking. With my glowing blue eyes, I turn around to see her walking toward me. The mood about me is apparent, as I can’t seem to stop my eyes from radiating what I’m feeling. Given no choice, I gaze at her, only to see she’s wearing a light-pink silk robe with nothing on underneath. The smell of sex emanates from her body. She’s probably here looking for that woman she and my father gifted me.

“Why are you lying on the floor in the dark?” she asks.

I sit up as she turns the light on. “I’m just thinking.” I try to hide my emotions as best as I can.

She sits next to me. “I know you’re nervous about meeting your mate. Nonetheless, all that we do is for the good of the Coven. Just remember when you join with Anastacia and step into the light of the Courting Moon, you are to have no love in your heart. Queen Mireya will be watching adamantly. She’ll know if you do.”

I lie back on the floor. “Is that the reason I’m not allowed to see Anastacia until we’re mated? So I don’t develop a connection with her?”

Her claws are out, and she runs them through my hair. “The only connection that matters is the all-powerful child that will be your offspring.”

I flinch and remove her hand from my head. “All-powerful child? What do you mean?”

“Don’t worry about it, my son. All will be revealed in due time. Now, where’s Sareya?” Her eyes transition from white to yellow.

“Sareya?” I raise my brows.

“You mean to tell me in all this time you’ve never asked your bather for her name?” Mother looks at me with surprise. I haven’t seen my bather since the day she left with Alessandro. My mother will probably be pissed if I tell her the truth. She’s meant for me, not my friends.

“Oh, yes. She’s around here somewhere. I don’t have her on a leash, Mother.”

“You should put her on a leash. Sareya is your consenting slave.”

“Since when do people acquiesce to slavery?” I stand and walk over to my bed, then sit on the corner. She follows me.

“Sareya and many other women in our kingdom volunteered for the honor. Your father and I came to a consensus for her to serve you.” She smiles.

“Let me guess—did this consensus involve a threesome?” I gawk at the idea, but I know my parents as well as the way of the Vampyre.

“The Queen of Orias had the final say. You know her; she wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“So a foursome?” I try not to gag.

“Of course.” The smile on her face is one of pride, as if sharing her mate with two other women is something to be celebrated.

“Well, I guess Father is one lucky man.”

“As will you be once you’re mated. Anastacia is training as we speak to be the perfect subservient mate and give you pleasure beyond what any Vampyre in all of Varinia has experienced.”

I glance at her. “Wow, I can’t wait,” I say unenthusiastically.

She places her index finger under my chin, then lifts my head and stares into my eyes. “There’s something off with you,” she says. I pull away and shuffle my body to the center of the bed. Mother advances toward me and grabs my chin once again. “I sense emotion in you. Give me your wrist.” Her fangs grow in length. One bite and she’ll know what I’ve been up to. I can’t allow her to see the memories in my blood.

“Why?” My fangs protrude as well.

“Something is going on with you, Sebastian. I can see it in the way your eyes change color without provocation. If you’re not going to tell me what it is, then I’ll see for myself.” Digging her claws into my arm, she yanks my wrist up to her mouth.

“Wait! You know I have an aphrodisiac in my blood. And there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m just nervous about being mated.” I pull away and hope she buys my lie.

“You’re not trying to deceive me, are you?”

“Of course not. I just left my teen years. Anxiety comes with losing youth, Mother.”

She slaps me on the shoulder playfully. “Youth? Ha! Wait until you’ve reached your two-hundredth birthday. You can’t begin to fathom the meaning of age.” Laughing, she stands from my bed. The lust-influence oozing from her pores is obvious. Although she promised me years ago that she wouldn’t engage in what other parents have with their children since the dawn of the Vampyre, I could still see what she’s doing. It’s times like this when I begin to wonder if the stories I’ve heard are accurate about what she attempted to do to Emmanuel Laskar d’Font, one of our past rulers. I brush it off as I always do and run my fingers through my hair.

“Anyway, Mother. I have a game tonight with Alessandro. I should get ready.”

“A game?” Resting her hand on my chest, she sits me back down on the bed. “No games for you tonight. Your mind is troubled, so I want you to stay in the palace. Reflect on your future and the Courting Moon to come. You mustn’t appear nervous in front of the Coven. The Orias bloodline must display strength at all times.”

This is just what I need. She’s still treating me as if I’m a child. “I’m an adult now, Mother. You can’t confine me to the palace without cause.”

“Without cause? Tell that to the beads of sweat on your forehead. Or the nervous look in your eyes. Or the throbbing cock in your pants.”

I sit on the bed, stunned. I can’t believe she just said that. “The only person who’s making me nervous is you. I thought you were looking for Sareya. Why don’t you go find her?”

“Don’t be upset, Sebastian. It’s for your own good. Once the fear of uncertainty is cleansed from your eyes, you can leave. Until then, just relax. I’ll send Sareya to you as soon as I find her.”

As she turns to leave, I have a moment of clarity that can be used to my advantage. “No!” I head her off before she can reach the door. “I’m quite tired, Mother. You can keep Sareya. I think I’ll just turn in early.” I don’t know if she notices my sudden mood change, but I hope she doesn’t question me further about it.

“Are you sure about that? Sareya is—”

“You said it yourself. My cock is throbbing. I don’t think it’s a good idea for Sareya or any female to be around me right now. As the Coven rules state, I must be a virgin the day of my mating.” Please let her be buying this.

“You’re wise for your age, my son. As you wish. Enjoy the rest of your day.” She kisses the top of my forehead and closes the door as she leaves. Now I don’t have to come up with an excuse for backing out of that game with Alessandro. My alibi is secure.

Thank you, Mother. You’ve just unwittingly fortified my passage to Hymane tonight. This night will be the night I introduce myself to Kyra. My desire for her is overpowering my reason and reluctance. Regardless of how she may react, I must speak to her. I must try. I’m putting it all on the line tonight. My only hope is that she reciprocates. She’ll be frightened in the beginning, but once I assure her that I mean no harm, I’m sure she’ll at least listen to what I have to say. I’m coming for you tonight, Kyra Dunning. Whether you’re ready for it or not.

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