Princess In The Dark

Lucia is The Princess In The Dark, a highly ranked member of a large coven of vampires. Hiding in the gloom of the tunnels under London, her only pleasure is to hunt.
She lives this life every day, and does not feel even the slightest portion of remorse or guilt for all the lives she has taken. Lucia also happens to be the only daughter of their leader, The Count, putting her in a position with many enemies and lurking dangers, leaving more responsibility on her shoulders than she would have otherwise wished for.
She then meets 18-year-old James, and begins to notice that he is different, strange... And that he is changing her in the most peculiar way...

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14. Shadow

Lucia burst into the room, James barely had time to squeeze in before she slammed the door behind them. She breathed a sigh of relief as she took in the cupboard-sized room that lay in complete darkness. No windows. She dumped down onto the small wooden bed and covered her face with her hands. James spun around and stared at her in disbelief. "You... That's mine! Where am I supposed to sleep!?" She didn't even glance at him. Instead, she pointed her finger downwards, towards the floor. "Wha-What!? You're not serious?" She remained still. He sat himself at the end of the bed, glaring down at her. "What on earth are you doing here, anyway? I think it's only fair you tell me, since this is my flat, you're lying on my bed, taking my time, and you haven't even given me a reason yet!" She yawned and stretched, slowly sitting up and casually flicking back her ebony waves. He gulped and leaned back a little. He had almost forgotten how breathtaking she was. She inclined her head slightly sideways, narrowing her eyes as she studied his features. "It is a long story. A story I cannot tell. People are searching for me, James. And I need this -" She stretched out her arm, gesturing at the room around her, "- to be safe. No windows. No sunlight." He stared at her, puzzled. "You're not running from the police, are you?" His stare became more panicked as she didn't answer. "You're not, are you!? Please tell me you're not, I'm in enough trouble with them as it is." She smiled slyly, menacingly, before she answered: "Not exactly." He shifted on the bed, leaning forward a little more. "But why here? Why do you want to be here!? Can't you stay somewhere else!?" She shrugged, seeming indifferent. "I have nowhere else to go."

"You didn't find her?" The Count's voice was icy. He left his chair and slowly paced around Cerberus, glaring at him. "No, Count. I did not." The Count hissed under his breath: "I smell her on you." Cerberus' expression did not change even the slightest. "I followed the scent for a while, Count. It ended by a forest. I do believe she may have covered her tracks." The Count's scowl became a more relaxed, annoyed frown. "I see. Very well. Thank you for your service, you may go. Continue the hunt tomorrow night." Cerberus gave one stiff, hard nod before he turned around and marched briskly out of the door.

The Count waited no more than ten seconds before he called for Lucifer, who came scurrying down the hall to him in moments, looking afraid as he always did in The Count's presence. "Lucifer. I have a job for you." The Count nodded bitterly in Cerberus' direction. "Tomorrow night, he is leaving to search for my daughter. I wish for you to follow him, and report your findings to me. Needless to say, this is to be done without his awareness. Understood?" Lucifer bowed before him. "Very well. Off with you, you need rest. It shall be a long night tomorrow..."

Lucia slept on the bed as James sat at the end of it, again finding his gaze fixed upon her. Her eyes were closed, and her long, thick lashes brushed against her cheeks. Her skin was flawless, the soft shade of ivory. She seemed so peaceful when she slept. He sighed, trying to figure out why he'd let her stay. Was it because he was attracted to her? Or was it simply because he was desperate for company? A bit of both, he decided. He sighed, and stared down at his watch. Eight o'clock in the morning. He hadn't slept for more than 24 straight hours. The only thing that had really been keeping him awake was the fear he had felt since discovering a connection between the two deaths... Now that another person was here with him, and the only sound that could be heard was her gentle breathing, he felt more safe. And, as the blast of adrenaline began to wear off, he felt a crushing exhaustion emerge behind it. Careful not to disturb her, he crammed into the space on the bed between her and the wall, and drifted off to sleep.

Lucifer awoke to the sound of a bell tolling loudly throughout the tunnels. The sun had just set. He pushed off the wooden lid of his coffin and leapt up, finding himself standing in his small chamber. All the servants got small chambers like these - chambers where there was hardly room for somewhere to rest, let alone anything else. Lucifer secrectly hoped that, if he managed to pull it off and prove that Cerberus wasn't trustworthy, The Count would move him somewhere a little larger. He stretched (there wasn't really room for this, as the ceiling was very low) and ran out through the thick-set iron door. He then sped down a corridor, crossing his fingers and sincerely hoping that he would get there in time for Cerberus' departure.

The Count picked up his black pawn and moved it forward. "Check mate again, Tisiphone" he hissed, flicking the board off the table. "You bore me, truly. Have I no servants of higher intellect? I must say that I am disappointed." Tisiphone, a tall, blonde vampire sitting across from him, frowned. "If you wanted someone else to play with," she grumbled, "Then why did you ask for me?" The Count leaned forward and shot her a threatening smile. "Because," he growled, "all my other servants are off doing things of importance. You were the only one who stayed behind and lazed around in her chambers like a common woman." "I am a female vampire, you know, not a woman" she said sulkily, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms across her chest. The Count laughed at her mockingly. "Watch your tongue. You are nothing but a chambermaid, Tisiphone." Tisiphone straightened her back in a superior fashion. "I am not just any chambermaid, Count. I am your daughter's. And I'm sorry if I haven't been working lately, but your daughter hasn't been to her chambers for more than a week." The Count growled. "You are most lucky that it is not in my nature to harm females unless completely necessary. That doesn't mean, however, that I can't send someone else to do it for me." Tisiphone raised her eyebrows and sniggered. "Really? And who would you send? Cerberus is on an assignment, and I hear that you have lost Moros all together. And besides," She said, now really seeming to think that she had the upper hand, "you're not leaving me unharmed because you have morals. Don't be daft. You're leaving me safe because you know that the last thing Maria would have wanted -" The Count rose to his feet and locked a hand around her throat. "Don't you even mention her name." He said in a soft, blood-curdling whisper. The fear in Tisiphone's eyes was unmistakeable. "I'm s-sorry," she croaked, "but you know.... You know... It's t-true... " The Count released her immediately and flung her against the wall. "The only girl Maria ever cared about was Lucia. She didn't care about you. It doesn't matter if you are her sister or whatever you are, but whatever you do, you will keep that quiet. Or else I will be forced to finish what my brother started."

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