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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15. Truth

Cerberus climbed up the steps of the ladder and pushed the manhole-cover aside, immediately leaping out of the sewers. As soon as he was out in the open, he sped down the streets, following Lucia's scent with ease. This time, he thought, she wouldn't get away quite so easily. Sunrise was hours and hours away. The flat wasn't. Streetlamps, buildings and people flew by as he kept increasing his pace. Human eyes were far too slow to perceive him, as he shot by with bullet-like speed. Her scent was getting stronger. A lot stronger. His instincts were ablaze, he wanted the kill. He longed for it. He shook his head disdainfully, trying to clear it. The animal inside was attempting to take over. No, he thought to himself, Not now. Not tonight. Patience, Cerberus. Your will avenge him eventually. Stick to the plan. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. Mind over matter. He had the hardest job restraining himself when he reached the spot where her scent collided with that of a human's - although the scent had been stronger yesterday, the place still reeked of Countess. He wrinkled his nose in disgust. The lust for revenge pulsed through his veins like a rush of adrenaline. He wanted her dead. He wanted to see her in terrible, terrible pain, as he had when she had been locked away in that dungeon. Perhaps he would leave her in the condition of which she had left Moros. Poetic justice. He smiled. He wasn't usually one for justice, at least not if it was not solely in his favor. This time, however, he felt that it was. He slowed to a jog as he turned the corner to all the lopsided, slightly dilapidated blocks of flats. After a few seconds he had passed through the gate, along the path, and was climbing up the stairs. He stopped outside the door of the flat she had stayed in last (and where her scent was undoubtedly strongest) and kicked it in.

Big, silvery tears rolled down Tisiphone's cheeks as she hid behind her slim fingers, sobbing into her robe of white silk. "Liar!" She screeched, between sobs, "He wouldn't! He would never! He loved me!" The Count's expression was so rock-still and emotionless that it could have been carved from stone. "How do you think Maria died, Tisiphone? Did he break into that flat by accident, perhaps?" There was a certain piercing note of restrained anger in his voice. "No! You're lying! You're.... (Sob).... You're lying, Isaac would never -" "Why do you think I took you into my protection all those years ago?" The Count interrupted. The The boiling fury in his voice was unmistakeable this time, although it was hidden slightly behind a voice of forced calm. "Maria was worried about you. She new. She new that he wanted her, not you, and that he would dispose of you as soon as he had gotten her for himself. He was a madman, Tisiphone. Twisted and bent by our father in ways you cannot possibly imagine. He couldn't cope with the fact that she didn't want him. So he killed her. And you were always next." "No!" She screamed, "No! He (sob) he would never! He would never, not my Isaac. Not ever in his life would he (sob).... He would never... And my (sob) my s-sister... No... Liar!" Her shoulders were shaking now, thoroughly. The Count bent down, and, with a murmur so low and soft that it sounded as if it was caressing the very air around him, he whispered: "And that's why I killed him, Tisiphone." Tisiphone stared up at him with what looked like speechless, livid disbelief. The Count continued in a perfectly calm voice, he seemed to have let out all his anger by now: "Maria had never wanted me to tell you this, of course. She always wanted to spare your feelings. Too kind for her own good, Maria was," He let out a fond sigh of longing, seemingly completely oblivious to the shriveled Tisiphone in the corner, who had returned to bawling her head off and screaming at him that he was lying, "I hadn't given you much thought since she died, to be perfectly honest with you. But lately, with Lucia's continued absence, I have been given time to contemplate matters regarding my..." He paused and snorted, "Family, as it were, and have come to the conclusion that I do not wish anyone to believe that Isaac was ever anything but a deeply disturbed little coward who kept grabbing far beyond his reach for things he knew he could not have. And yes, Tisiphone, you are right. I do only keep you alive because of your unfortunate little blood-relation to my late wife. And imagine, I am even kind and thoughtful enough to tell you the truth about her death. You should be most honoured." With that, he stalked out of the room.

The Count sat down at his desk, Tisiphone having long since departed. He tapped his fingers most impatiently on the tabletop, a slight scowl now appearing on his face. Where on earth where Cerberus and Lucifer? It was but minutes till sunrise, and still he had absolutely no idea where they might be. Had Lucifer been caught in pursuit of Cerberus? If so, had Cerberus fled? And then how could he possibly - his thoughts where abruptly interrupted by something large and muscular streaking into the room, and coming to a halt opposite him. The Count leaned forward and gave Cerberus an impatient glare, and growled: "Well!?" Cerberus stood up straight, although he winced in doing so, something had evidently happened to his left leg, where blood stained his black trousers. "WELL!?" Bellowed the Count, once again cracking the table in half by thumping his fist onto it. "I saw her around the outskirts of London, your highness. I chased her for some time, but she managed to escape me. I believe she is heading for Scotland, sir." "AND WHY WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT SHE WAS HEADING FOR SCOTLAND!? CAN YOU READ HER MIND NOW, IS THAT IT, YOU SCUM!? EXPLAIN YOURSELF!" The Count was now heaving with anger. He felt it very difficult to refrain from telling Cerberus that, in a minute or so, his other servant would appear and tell him the truth, something he was completely certain Cerberus was not. Cerberus, you pitiful, lying little rat, no better than my brother was in his day, I shall have you burned on the stake, you treacherous, filthy excuse for a vampire, I shall - "I overheard her conversation, Count. She has found an ally, a human." "A HUMAN!? HOW DARE YOU ASSUME THAT MY DAUGHTER, TRAITOR TO MY BLOOD OR NOT TRAITOR TO MY BLOOD HAS SCOOPED SO LOW AS TO -" The Count was positively fuming. "It was a human. I could smell him, your highness." "YOU DIGUSTI-" The Count took a very deep breath and gritted his teeth. "Very well. You will resume the hunt tomorrow night. You may leave." Cerberus nodded and ran. Lucifer, however, did not return.

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