Against All Odds

Short Story

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1. Only Part

 

           An obnoxious shrill ringing jolted me awake, while I was in the middle of a pleasant dream. I sprang up from my bed in surprise, whipping my head towards the noise and glared at the culprit. My alarm clock flashed 6:30 a.m. as it continued to wail. Slamming my hand down on the snooze button, I fell back onto my pillows while groaning.
            “Artemis, honey, you have to get up now to get ready for school,” my mother said from the other side of my door. I grunted in response while grabbing my other pillow and smacking it onto my face. I guess I drifted to sleep because the next thing I knew, my covers were being ripped off of me.
            I screamed in surprise as the cold air hit me. I instantly curled up into a ball, bringing my legs up to my chest and wrapping my arms around them.
            “Artemis, get your lazy ass up right this instant! It’s 7 o’clock and your father and I will be leaving in half an hour. We still have to lay down the ground rules for tonight. So hurry your ass up and get yourself ready!” my mother yelled, walking out the door.
            I slowly cracked my eyes open, only to be blinded by light. I hissed closing my eyes again.
            “The light,” I moaned, slapping a hand over my eyes, “it burns.”
            “Artemis Arabella Regan! If you don’t get your lazy ass up right now, you will be forced to come with your father and I to the Greek mythology conference!” my mother screeched from downstairs.
            “I swear she has the hearing of a bat” I grumble to myself sitting up in bed.
            “I heard that!” she screamed.
            I swung my legs over the side of my bed, grumbling to myself. As I placed my feet on the dark brown hard wood floors, I yelped when they came in contact because of the coldness. I slowly got to my feet, stretching as I did so and walked to the bathroom. I grabbed a towel from the cupboard then hopped into the shower and cleansed myself. After my shower I got out, dried myself then securely wrapped my towel around me and walked to my room. I changed into a pair of dark blue skinny jeans, a black tank top, a purple blouse and my undergarments.
            “Art, come down here please,” my father called from the bottom of the stairs.
            “Coming, hold on!” I hollered down to him and my mother. I quickly ran around my room picking up my homework I had left scattered around, grabbing my phone, iPod, purse, school bag, and a pair of socks. I quickly ran out of my room and down the stairs to the main floor before my parents would start yelling even more.
            “I’m here, I’m here. Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” I said sitting down at the breakfast bar beside my father, “morning mom and dad.”

            “It’s about damn time. My god, Art your hair isn’t even brushed yet and I don’t even want to know about your teeth,” my mother said shaking her head as she passed me a plate of eggs, bacon and toast. I smirked at her, shrugging my shoulders and began to eat my food.
            “Okay, so let’s go over the ground rules. One no parties, two no friends over, three no going out, four no using the stove or oven, five no being out after dark, six n-,” my mother listed but, was cut off by my father.
            “Anna, leave her alone. She’s seventeen years of age, not seven. I’m almost one hundred percent sure she knows what to do and what not to do. We’re leaving her money for dinner anyways. We’ll only be gone for a night so will you please leave her,” my father said, grabbing my mother’s shoulders. She nodded her head and leaned in to give him a kiss.
            “And I’m leaving. I’m going to go finish getting ready,” I said standing up and almost running out of the kitchen. I climbed the stairs, taking them two at a time until I got to the top. I walked to the bathroom, pulled out my brush and began brushing my hair. My hair was a light brown and reached to the middle of my back.
            I decided I didn’t have the patience to deal with my hair so I just pulled it up into a high pony tail. Then I proceeded to brush my hair and put a little bit of make-up on.
            “Art, we’re leaving now. I left the money on the counter by the fridge. We will see you tomorrow,” my dad said leaning against the door frame.
            I walked over to him and gave him a hug, “Thanks dad, love you. Have fun” I said.
            “Bye mom,” I said giving her a hug as I walked by her in the hall.
            “Goodbye,” I heard them call as they shut the front door. With a final click of the lock, I raced to my room window and looked out to the drive way where I could see my parents just backing out. They honked, signaling one last goodbye and drove away. Right then I knew that they had actually left me alone for a whole night and day by myself. I looked at my clock and gasped. In bold red numbers it read 7:55. School started at 8:15 and it took me at least twenty minutes to walk there.
            “I’m going to be late,” I groaned. I ran down the stairs, grabbed my things, shoved on a pair of black boots, shrugged on my black leather jacket and ran out the door into the cool mid-October air.
            I didn’t want to get to school sweaty and gross so I only ran a block and then stopped. Walking the rest of the way to school, I got there 25 minutes later. Of course I was late and by the time I had gone to my locker, dumped the things I didn’t need off, grabbed my binder and pen and ran to class, there was only an hour left in class.
            “Well Ms. Regan, what a pleasure it is to see you. How was your sleep-in?” my chemistry teacher, Mr. Millcroft, asked sarcastically.
            “Sorry sir,” I muttered, walking to my seat with my eyes focusing on the ground as the kids in my class laughed, “stupid prick.”
            “Pardon me? What did you say?” Mr. Millcroft asked in an angry tone.
            “Nothing sir,” I said, smiling at him innocently.
            “Detention, after school today, with me for three hours,” he said turning back to the white board.
            “What? You have got to be kidding me!” I shouted, shooting up from my chair making it fall back.
            He pulled his glasses down to the tip of his nose, an eyebrow raised and an irritated expression on his face, “Make that four and a half hours,” he said.
            I picked up my chair then sat down crossing my arms in a huff. The class just laughed silently at me.
            “Now where were we before I was so rudely interrupted,” Mr. Millcroft began but, not before giving me a pointed glare, “polar versus non-polar compounds.”
            I spaced out thinking about what I was going to do tonight by myself. Mr. Millcroft droned on and on for the rest of the period until the bell rang. The rest of my day was a blur until the bell rung, signalling that school was done. My detention was about to start so instead of going to my locker like I normally would, I ran straight to the chemistry lab. After knocking on the door and hearing Mr. Millcroft yell for me to come in, I walked in and sat in a desk in the middle of the classroom.
            “Ms. Regan, I want you to write me a five paged essay on why you shouldn’t be late to my class,” Mr. Millcroft said, turning back to grading his stack of papers.
            “Mr. Millcroft you have to be kidding me. This is chemistry not English,” I complained.
            “Fine write one about the differences between polar and non-polar compounds,” He said annoyed.
            I huffed, wishing I would have just shut my big mouth and did what he asked in the first place. Finally after four hours, I was done writing. I got up and placed my essay on his desk.
            “You can clean the boards now,” was all he said. I turned to the boards grumbling and muttering to myself. After I was done cleaning them it was 7 o’clock.
            “Can I go now?” I asked, groaning.
            “Yes,” he said, also packing up his things.
            I couldn’t get out of the class fast enough. I ran to my locker, shoved my binders in and pulled out my coat and purse. I shrugged on my coat as I closed my locker. I left my school bag in my locker because I didn’t have any homework. Running out of the school, I didn’t see the black van sitting in the parking lot. I turned on my IPod, plugging my earphones into my ears and started my journey home. I pulled my cell phone out to text my best friend, who unfortunately goes to another school, Sara.
            HEY, WHAT’S UP? I texted her and hit send. I continued to tell her about my detention and how I couldn’t go out because my parents were at another Greek mythology conference.

OH TRUE SUCKS TO SUCK, she wrote me.
            I burst out laughing then looked up realizing I was still walking home. I blushed in embarrassment when a man on the other side of the street gave me a weird look. Looking back down to my phone I replied, OH HA HA HA. YOU’RE HILARIOUS. A TRUE COMEDIAN! I messaged her back while shaking my head with a smile on my lips.
            We continued texting for another 20 minutes. When I looked up I realized I was a block from my house. Right as I looked back down to my phone, a loud screeching sound came from behind me. I turned my head to see what it was. A black van had pulled to a stop a few feet behind me. The next thing I knew the doors were flung open and 3 men jumped out of the van and came towards me. My eyes widened as they got closer.
            Run, stupid! I thought. I spun around and sprinted as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I could hear them pursuing me by the loud smacks of their shoes hitting the pavement as they gained on me. Just as I was about to run faster, a large arm wrapped its self around my stomach and pulled me to a stop.
            “Help, someone help me!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
            “Ryder, shut her up before someone comes!” One of the men hissed at the man holding me, who I assumed to be Ryder.
            “Sorry babe, this is gonna hurt,” Ryder said.
            “What-” I began to ask but was cut off by being smacked in the head, knocking me out.
            When I came to back in to consciousness, I could hear people talking around me. I slowly and very subtly moved my fingers to see if I could identify where I was. The soft silk made me realize I was lying down on a bed. I quietly gasped, wondering where the hell I was because I know for a fact, no one I know owns frickan` silk sheets.
            “Did you guys hear that? I think sleeping beauty is awake,” a man said.
            I tried my best to even out my breath to pretend I was still asleep. I could hear people shuffling around the room, coming closer towards the bed. I very slowly cracked my eyes open to see if I could see anything. When I got my eyes open enough, I saw one of the men who kidnapped me only a few inches away from my face. I shot up out of the bed, yelping in surprise and knocked my forehead off of the man’s’.
            “Oww,” I moaned rubbing my forehead. I realized two other men were standing on either sides of me while one man sat in front of me. I instantly scrambled backwards until I hit the headboard. I was too afraid to say anything so, I just sat there staring at them with wide eyes.
            “That surprisingly hurt,” the man I bumped heads with said, while rubbing his forehead.
            “Ryder, you can’t be serious,” the man on my left said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms.
            “It actually kind of did, Damien,” Ryder said, who was sitting in front of me, turning to look at the man on my left, who I assumed to be Damien. Damien just rolled his eyes again.
            “Shut the hell up, both of you. You’re giving me a headache,” the man on the right barked, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.
            “Sorry Xavier,” Ryder and Damien mumbled.
            I couldn’t take it anymore, “Who are you people? Where the hell am I? Why did you kidnap me? What do you want with me?” I yelled.
            The man on the right, Xavier, snapped his eyes open and whipped his head towards me. He narrowed his eyes until they were slits, “Shut. Up,” he hissed at me.
            Jesus! If looks could kill, I would be twenty feet under, I thought to myself wincing. I ended up having to look away because it felt like Xavier’s glare was piercing right through me.
            “Slow down Artemis. We will answer your questions, if you ask them one at a time,” Ryder said, crossing his legs on the bed.
            “O-okay, how do you know my name?” I asked shakily.
            “Easy, your wallet,” Ryder said smirking, “next question.”
            “Who are you guys?” I asked.
            “Well, I’m Ryder, as you probably know. I am the youngest. That is Damien, my second oldest brother,” Ryder said pointing to Damien, who was on my left, “and that is Xavier, our oldest brother,” he continued as he pointed to Xavier, who was on my right.
            I just nodded and continued my questions, “Where am I?” I asked.

This time, Xavier was the one to answer me, “A place not known to humans. We are in our realm, the vampire realm, which is called Inferna” he said, with a slight accent.
            I stared at him then glanced to Ryder and finally to Damien. They all had serious faces. I burst out laughing, clutching my sides.
            “Y-you have to be k-kidding me!” I laughed, “There is no such thing as vampires.”
            The three brothers narrowed their eyes at me simultaneously and baring their teeth at me. I instantly stopped laughing when I saw that they all had two sharp fangs sticking down from where their eye teeth were suppose to be. I tried to scramble back against the headboard but, I was already pressed flat against it.
            This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening, I chanted to myself in my head. I squeezed my eyes shut to see if I was just dreaming, but when I opened them, the three brothers were still there.
            Oh my god, they aren’t kidding. What the hell!? I’m dreaming, I’m just dreaming. None of this is real. Nothing is happening, I thought while closing my eyes.
            “Artemis, open your eyes,” Ryder said softly, “come on. Just open them. We’re sorry if we scared you. It was not our intention; we just wanted to prove to you that we weren’t lying. Please open your eyes.”
            I shook my head no, squeezing my eyes closed more.
            “Open your eyes,” Xavier breathed into my ear.
            I inhaled a sweet peppermint smell and slowly opened my eyes. Everything was the same except that now Xavier was sitting down on the bed to my left, his face close to mine. I stared into his dark green eyes, almost as if I was hypnotized. He blinked first, as a smirk slowly slipped onto his face. I blushed in embarrassment, looking down at the silk sheets.

“Xavier, leave her alone. And to answer your other questions, you’re here because we need you for the upcoming war and also we need a new maid. Now before you start to freak out you will learn why in due time,” Damien said, turning around and walking out of the room. Xavier followed after Damien but not before nodding to Ryder, who in turn nodded back.

I watched Xavier walk to the door where he paused and turned to look at me, “see you later, Artemis,” he said winking and then taking his leave.
            “Well, how about we go and show you around the castle. How does that sound?” Ryder asked me, while grinning like a fat kid in a candy shop.
            “Did you say castle? What are you guys, royalty?” I asked, my eyes widening.
            “Yes, I said castle and pretty much,” he said smirking.
            I rolled my eyes at him, “let’s go,” I said standing up and stretched my muscles out because they had become very sore.
            Ryder also got to his feet and grabbed my hand. I raised an eyebrow at him questionably and he grinned in response. He led me out of the bedroom and into a hall with paintings and tapestries all over the walls.
            Three hours later, I was exhausted, tired and starving. Ryder was perfectly fine, as if we hadn’t been walking around for three straight hours.
            “Ryder,” I whined, “I’m hungry.”
            “Oh, right. We have to feed you still. Hold on,” he said, holding up a finger to me. He walked to the bottom of the main stairs and stopped.
            “Damien, Xavier, it’s time to feed the human!” he yelled up the stairs. The two men appeared beside him a few seconds later. The three of the conversed for a few minutes, talking in hushed tones. They kept shooting glances at me every so often and it was becoming very irritating.
            “Guys, are you serious? I’m right here; I know you’re talking about me. Can I have food now?” I said annoyed, putting my hands on my hips.
            They stopped talking and all glared at me. I huffed and crossed my arms, glaring back at them. They continued their conversation, paying no attention to me.
            “Fine, I’ll go get my own food,” I grumbled to myself and walked in the direction of the kitchen.
            Thank god Ryder showed me where everything was. That’s the only good thing about that tour, I thought to myself.
            Once I got to the kitchen, I saw people rushing around. One of the other maids saw me and walked over to me.
            “Hi, I’m Bailey. You must be Artemis. I’m going to be your mentor for awhile, what can I get you?” she asked, smiling kindly at me.
            “It’s nice to meet you,” I said smiling back at her, “and food, please and thank you. I’m starving and the three dimwit brothers won’t feed me.”
            She gasped, throwing a hand over my mouth, “You must not call them names. You will be punished if you do,” she whispered.

“It’s great to know how highly you think of us, Artemis,” a voice spoke from behind me.

I froze in shock and slowly turned around. Xavier stood right behind me, his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised. Ryder and Damien were behind him, with the same expression except Ryder had a hint of a smile on his lips.
            I smiled at them innocently, “I do need to be fed and you guys were taking so long, so…,” I said trailing off.

            “Yeah, okay,” Damien said smirked.

            “My princes,” Bailey said, curtsying. The three men just nodded at her.

            I ended up eating dinner with the brothers, which apparently was a very rare occurrence because the brothers never let the maids eat with them. After dinner I was shown to my room, which happened to be the room I woke up in. When Bailey dropped me off, she was shocked to see that I wouldn’t be staying in the maids’ wing of the castle but instead I was staying in the princes’ wing. Another thing I found out when Bailey dropped me off was that Ryder, Damien and Xavier were the vampire princes of the entire vampire race. I was extremely shocked when I found out that piece of information. Bailey also informed me that she would be waking me up at 5 a.m. to get ready and start my first day of work. I still wasn’t very thrilled about having to be a maid, let alone be here in the first place but, I learned that there wasn’t a way for me to get out of this. So like the big girl I was, I sucked it up and dealt with it.

            Bailey kept her promise and at five o’clock sharp the next morning, there was a knock at the door.
            “Artemis its Bailey, it’s time to get,” she called cheerfully through the door.
            “Okay, I’m up,” I ground out, glaring at the door. I wasn’t mad at her; it was her job so I didn’t blame her. It was the fact I had to get up so god damn early and I can tell you, I was definitely not a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. I hated mornings.
            I pulled myself out of my bed and walked into the bathroom to shower. Once I was done with all my bathroom activities, I walked back into the room and realized that I didn’t have anything to wear. I turned to my bed and saw an old fashioned black and white maids dress.
            Are they serious? You have to be shitting me. I am not wearing that, I thought to myself. I glared at the stupid outfit for a good ten minutes when Bailey knocked on my door again.

            “Artemis, what is taking you so long? You were supposed to be out here five minutes ago,” Bailey said, pushing my door open slowly.
            “You’re okay to look. I’m decent,” I grumbled, “but I am not wearing this stupid short dress. Not happening.”
            Bailey sighed in annoyance and placed her hands on her hips, “Don’t you start with me your first morning. Get your ass into that dress right now. If the princes find out you have been misbehaving, they will be very displeased,” she said.

            I snatched the dress off of the bed and marched into the bathroom. After changing, I walked out of the bathroom and saw Bailey still standing by the door with a pair of high heels dangling from two of her fingers.
            “Oh hell no, I don’t do heels. I’m already wearing this stupid ass dress; I’m not wearing heels with it. No thank you, I’ll pass,” I said, shaking my head.
            “Shut your trap and put them on. We’re already late for breakfast,” Bailey snapped at me, while chucking the stupid black five inch heels at me. I glared at her and threw them on the ground. I straightened them out with my foot and then slipped my feet into them. I wobbled a bit in them at first but, after walking around for a few minutes, I was fine. We walked to the workers dining area and I was introduced to the other maids, servants and other workers from around the castle.

After breakfast, Bailey gave me my assignments and told me to get to work. She, of course, accompanied me with my assignments because I was in training but, I did most of the work. Other then Bailey and a few maids passing by, I didn’t see anyone. When I had asked Bailey why that was, she just said people were busy.
            Around two in the afternoon, we were finally done and it was time for our lunch. After lunch Ryder told me to go to my room, where there would be clothes laid out for me for my training. I questioned him about what kind of training and he said for the war. Then he proceeded to tell me that he would be teaching me self defence, Damien would be teaching me weaponry and Xavier would be teaching me other things. After changing into a pair of black yoga pants, a blood red tank top and a pair of black running shoes, I walked out of my room to see Ryder waiting for me.
            Through out the training I could already feel myself getting stronger. It was an odd feeling, it was like I had done all of this before even though I know I hadn’t. The next training session was weaponry with Damien. The same feeling I got from defence training took over me in weaponry. I felt skilled beyond belief and stronger than ever. When it was finally time for “other things” with Xavier, I couldn’t help but feel as if the princes were hiding something major from me. I decided try and launch a surprise attack on Xavier when he got here so I climbed the rope in the middle of the gym ceiling and walked along the metal bars until I got to the door. I crouched down, waiting for the right moment to jump.

Artemis, I will tell you when to jump, a voice said. My eyes widened and swung my head around fast enough I was surprised I didn’t break my neck.
            What was that? I thought, settling down again before Xavier came in.
            Everything will be explained in the very near future, my child, said the voice again.
            I’m going insane, I thought shaking my head, trying to clear my thoughts.

            Hold your breath. Now! The voice shouted in my head. I surprised myself by listening to it. I don’t even know why I listened, but I felt as if it was crucial to listen to the voice. The next moment, Xavier waltzed into the gym.
            Follow him silently across the bars. Don’t make any sounds. And when I say jump, do it that second, the voice instructed.
            “Artemis! Artemis, where are you?” Xavier called, “where is that girl?”
            I followed Xavier to the middle of the gym and stopped when he stopped. He kept spinning around looking for me, every once in awhile he would curse me for not being here.
            Now! The voice yelled. I jumped right then, silently falling. I landed on Xavier, as I planned, and we both went tumbling to the ground.
            I figured he didn’t know who knocked him down so he when he stood up and spun around to face me, his teeth were bared, fangs gleaming, his eyes were blood red and a hiss escaped his mouth. At first I was scared, but a wave of excitement ran through me, changing my once scared expression to one of curiosity. I slowly got up from the floor, tilting my head to the side. His rigid stance became relaxed, his mouth closed and his eyes change back into the hypnotic dark green. We continued to stare at each other for what seemed like hour. Finally, he broke our trance looking down, clearing his throat while scratching the back of his neck. I looked down blushing.
            You cannot like him! Bad Artemis, no liking the tall, handsome, black haired, dark green eyed beauty- NO! Stop it! No, no, no, no, no! I fought with myself in my head.
            Xavier cleared his throat, gaining my attention. He turned around and began to walk away.
            “Let’s go human,” he said coldly.
            I sighed and began to follow him. He led us to a backroom full of books and bottles filled with vibrant coloured liquids and substances. We walked until we came to a doorway that was half my height.
            “Are we supposed to go through that?” I asked pointing at the small door.

Xavier nodded while fishing something out of his pocket. He pulled out a set of keys, looked through them until he found a small key then shoved the small key into the lock and unlocked the door, pushing it open. We walked through the small doorway and into the room. It was lined with shelves full of books. In the middle of the room, there was two dark brown leather chairs facing each other with a table between them. We walked to them and sat down but not before Xavier grabbed a book off the shelf behind him.
            “I have a lot to tell you,” he began, “in ancient Greece the goddess of the hunt Artemis, was believed to be the goddess of virginity but, what most people didn’t know was her twin brother, Apollo, ended up having a baby girl, which he didn’t want. He only wanted sons. He didn’t want to take care of her, so he gave the baby to Artemis, who also didn’t want it. But, Artemis felt that she couldn’t leave the poor baby girl alone to die.

“That’s where people began to believe that she was the protector of young girls. Anyways, eventually Artemis came up with a name for the baby girl and she named her Adra, which means beauty. Artemis didn’t want anyone to know she was raising a child, so she hid the child when she would leave and when she would come back she would take care of it like it was her own. Artemis grew to love Adra very much and as Adra grew older into a child, Artemis taught her what she knew and all of her secrets.

“For the next ten or so years, Adra grew into a beautiful young woman and looked just like Artemis. Adra didn’t know that Artemis was not actually her mother so, one day when she was in the village, she overheard other young women talking about the goddess Artemis, and how she was the goddess of virginity. Adra grew very upset. She figured out that her so called mother was not actually her biological mother. She fled the village to confront her mother about what she had heard. When asking Artemis about what she heard, Artemis finally had to confess that she was actually not her mother but, her aunt. Adra couldn’t take the sorrow that came along with this information so she ran away. She ran as fast and as far as she could so her mother or aunt couldn’t find her.
            “Needless to say, Adra eventually fell in love. She got married, and had kids,” he finished, looking up at me.
            I sat there in shock for a few minutes not quite understanding what he was telling me.

“What does this have to do with me?” I asked.

“Well, Adra just so happens to be an ancestor of yours, so technically Artemis is your ancestor also,” He explained.
            My body couldn’t handle the stress of the new information so it resorted to shutting down. My eyes fluttered and I began falling forward.

I just had to faint, was my last thought before I was plunged into darkness.

The months began to fly by and blur together. My day was always the same, get up, shower, get ready, eat breakfast, work, have lunch, train, train, learn new abilities with Xavier, eat dinner with the brothers, shower again, and go to sleep. Through everything though, that voice in my head continues to grow stronger and louder every day. A couple weeks ago I asked Xavier about it, explaining what the voice says and when it talks. He thinks its Artemis; I think I’m going insane. I’ve become a master of self defence, always knowing how to anticipate my opponents’ next move. I’ve also become a master with any type of weapon, especially a bow and arrow, yet another thing Xavier thinks is linked to Artemis being my ancestor. My feeling for Xavier have also grown, which is a horrible thing in my opinion.
            It is now May and the war was now a week away but, attacks could start anytime. My day was going by as it always would but, when I got to my ability session Xavier had a different plan.

“We’re doing what?” I asked.
            “Going to get you fitted for your armor. Jeeze, are you deaf?” he replied, rolling his eyes.

He proceeded to grab my arm, sending shockwaves of what felt like electricity up it, and dragging me to the fitting room. When we got there, a man was waiting for us. He took my measurements, and then had a private talk with Xavier. Once they were done, Xavier said he had prince things to do because of the upcoming war and that I had the rest of the evening off. I still had to join them for dinner though.

            Five days later, two days before the war, my armor was ready and I had to go and make sure it fitted. I waltzed into the fitting room to see what looked to be my armour, if you can call it that. It consisted of black leather pants, a black leather tunic that would stop at my waist, a silver long sleeve shirt which looked a bit weird, knee high black leather boots, with buckles up the sides, a black cloak with a dark green and dark blue crest on it and a hood, two leather wrist protectors and a neck protector.
            “Am I supposed to wear all of that?” I questioned.
            “Yes. The princes requested that you be fully protected. The leather for everything isn’t normal leather, it is soaked in wolfs bane. The shirt under looks like a normal shirt but, it is actually made out of silver. It feels like cotton though. The cloak it enchanted to ward off other vampires, such as rogues, that may be on the werewolves’ side because of the prince’s crest on it. Which means only few royal guards, the princes, and the king can touch you with that on. And other creature won’t be able to smell you. The neck protector is covered in non-flammable cotton, drenched in wolfs bane, and on the inside is a thick slab of silver. All of this is as light as a feather and very comfortable,” the man, who I learned last time I was here makes everything, said.
            “Thank you,” I said gratefully. I spared him a smile before grabbing my armour and walking to my room.
            The next two days were hectic and today was the day we were going to launch our attack. I got up, showered, got ready and finally dressed in my leather pants, silver top, leather tunic and leather boots. I was not going to eat with my neck protector, wrist protectors and cloak on. After eating, I went back to my room where I put on my protectors and cloak when a maid rushed into my room.
            “The princes are waiting for you in the weapons room,” she said huffing, as if she’d been running. I nodded my thanks to her and left to go to the weapons room.
            The three brothers Ryder, Damien and Xavier, who were had grown to be my best friends, were waiting for me. Each of them had a slight smile on their faces. I smiled lightly back at them.
            “So today’s the day,” I said.
            “Yup,” all three said simultaneously.
            I was about to start crying and I guess they noticed because Ryder instantly pulled me into a bear hug.
            “We’re going to be fine. Stop your blubbering,” Ryder said, smirking down at me. I just smiled sadly at him and nodded. Damien was then next to pull me into a hug.
            “I know I’m hot but you don’t have to cry about it, babe,” Damien joked, winking at me. I laughed, shaking my head. I punched him in the arm playfully and he pretended to be hurt. He was always the kidder. And last but not least, Xavier pulled me into a hug.
            He didn’t say anything but, he didn’t have to. We stayed hugging for longer then I hugged the other two. I inhaled his sweet peppermint scent and smiled to myself. Ryder and Damien left the room to give Xavier and I some privacy.
            “Xavier, I have to tell you something,” I started. I need to tell him how I felt before the war happened or else I might not get the chance to ever tell him.
            He stared at me for a few moments and it looked as if he was mulling something over in his head. He let out an exasperated sigh and looked at me determined. The next thing I knew, his smashed his lips against mine. I was shocked for a few moments before I realized what was happening and kissed him back. The kiss was full of passion, need, our feeling for each other and our emotions. My hands snaked up to his neck and tangled themselves in his hair. His hands clutched my waist, pulling me closer as our lips moved in sync. I was losing air fast so I had to pull apart from him and take a step back. We stared at each other, breathing heavily for a few minutes before either of us spoke.
            “I feel the same way,” was all he said, a real smile gracing his face. I grinned at him while blushing.
            “Let’s go lovebirds, we’ve got places to be and people to kill,” Damien yelled from outside the closed door.
            “Come on,” Xavier said, holding out his hand for me. I swung my quiver full or arrows over my shoulder onto my back, my bow over my shoulder, strapped my sheath with my sword in it on, strapped on my thigh holster and place my .44 magnum caliber, Desert Eagle hand gun, loaded fully with silver bullets and placing a hand knife in each boot.
            “Are you done yet?” Xavier chuckled, still holding his hand out to me.
            “I think I am,” I said grinning and grabbed his hand.
            He lead us out of the weapons room and outside to the front of the castle. There were thousands of people just standing on the lawn waiting. When we finally joined them, everyone looked to us.
            “You must be Artemis,” said a voice from behind me. I spun around to come face-to-face with a man who looked to be in his thirties and looked like the three brothers. I glanced over at Xavier with a questioning look, which he returned with a smirk.
            “I apologize, my name is Chase Mathers, vampire king,” he informed me, holding out his hand. I instantly turned to give Xavier and his brothers, who had just joined him, an accusing look. I took the kings hand in mine and shook it while curtsying.
            “Dear god girl, what have these boys put you through? You don’t have to curtsy to me, a simple hank shake is fine,” the king exclaimed, throwing his three sons an accusing look. The three of them tried to contain their laughter but failed. I blushed in embarrassment.

            The king then proceeds to give an inspirational speech to the large mass of people and then told us where to go and we were off. Vampires everywhere started to vanish and a short few minutes later, the only people left are the three brothers and I.
            “Who’s back am I riding on?” I asked, almost positive of the answer.
            “Mine the first half and Ryder the second half. Ryder will put you up in the closest tree because we don’t want you on the ground. Way to dangerous,” Xavier explained. He crouched down enough so that I could hop on.
            “Hold on tight, put your hood up and keep your head down,” Xavier said. I held on tighter after fixing my hood on my head so it couldn’t blow off then shoved my face into the crook of his neck.
            “Ready?” he asked. I nodded as a response and he started running. The wind was trying its hardest to pull my hood off but I wouldn’t let it.
            10 minutes later, Xavier finally spoke, “I’m going to throw you to Ryder now. 3… 2… 1… Go!” he yelled, throwing me to Ryder.
            I didn’t get a chance to protest so I settled for screaming. I landed on Riders’ back clinging to him like a baby monkey would to its mother. I shoved my face into Ryders’ neck to protect myself from the wind again. Finally, we came to a stop on the edge of the tree line.
            “You know how to climb a tree right?” Xavier asked walking closer.
            “Please, yes but I’ve gotten better with Damiens help,” I said, smiling over to Damien who in turn smirked.
            “Well, get your ass up that tree this instant. We’re about to attack,” Ryder said shooing me up the tree.
            “You’re getting an arrow in the ass for that,” I muttered, as I started to climb. Xavier and Damien laughed at a grumbling Ryder.

Once I was three fourths of the way up I stopped. The brothers picked the tallest tree for me so as I stood on a very thick branch, I could see really far out because it was a field that was flat. I could see so for, that I could see the werewolf army. I also could see the three brothers conversing with their father.
            Here we go Artemis. You’ve been training for this for months. You can do this. I will guide you, as I have in training. Just relax and let yourself get into your warrior mode, my ancestor, Artemis, spoke to me in my thoughts.
            I took a deep breath, closing my eyes and exhaled. I opened them when I hear a far away cry of anger. The werewolves started charging towards the vampires in one swift motion. The vampires mimicked and soon they clashed. Swords were flying, as well as heads and the field was almost instantly covered in blood.
            I pulled my bow off my shoulder and pulled an arrow out of my quiver. Setting my arrow on my bow, I rested it there until it was needed. I kept my eyes sharp, watching the brothers carefully. To say they were skillful was the understatement of the century. They each swung their swords skillfully cutting werewolves heads off clean.
            “Whoa! Back off, I’ll take you on. Headstrong, can take on anyone. I know that you are wrong, Headstrong, headstrong. Back off, I’ll take on. Headstrong, can take on anyone. I know that you are wrong and this is not where you belong. I can’t give everything away… And I won’t give everything away,” I sung the chorus of Headstrong by Linkin Park to myself.
             Five hours passed, I was now sitting down and the field looked more and more like a mass murder site then an actual field. My first arrow was still in its place where I had placed it those five hours ago. No one had gotten to the tree line or even close to it because of our defences. All in all it was quite boring for me. I sung the whole time, trying to keep myself entertained. I decided to stand up because my legs were cramping. I stretched my arms above my head, leaning side to side. I guess I miscalculated how much room I had so I didn’t notice my foot was about to slip until it was too late. A surprised scream left my mouth as I crashed down onto the branch under me, where I grabbed it so I wouldn’t fall anymore. I looked out onto the field to see Xavier pause, spinning around to see if I was in trouble.
            I smiled at him and he smiled back. As he was turning around, a werewolf came out of nowhere and knocked him on the ground. My smile instantly dropped as I saw the wolfs teeth getting closer to Xaviers’ neck. Xavier was trying his hardest to push the wolf off but he was so tired he couldn’t. The wolf finally sunk his teeth into Xaviers’ neck. He let out a strangled cry of agony and the wolf continued to chomp down on his neck.

“No!” I screamed, fumbling with my arrow and bow. I climbed down the tree as fast as I could and jumped the last five feet or so. I began sprinting to where Xavier was, adjusting my arrow on my bow. I released it when a werewolf got to close, then grabbed another and positioned it. I released almost all fifty before I was half way there. I slipped my bow over my shoulder, saving the last ten arrows and yanked the gun out of my thigh holster. I began firing bullets left and right at werewolves. I went through fifteen rounds and I still had about twenty feet to go.

You can do this Artemis! Don’t give up now! You’re almost there! Artemis yelled at me in my head.
            I shoved my gun back into the holster and unsheathed my sword. I screamed in rage and began beheading werewolves and rogue vampires.
            That’s it! Use your rage to your advantage! They killed Xavier! Now you kill them! My ancestor yelled yet again at me.
            Using rage as my power, I began slicing and dicing through the thick waves of enemies which seemed to just keep coming. Finally, I broke free to see the werewolf lift his big furry head away from Xaviers’ neck and growl at me. I looked down to Xavier and saw the life slipping out of his eyes.
            “Run,” he mouthed to me.

Tears were now free flowing down my cheeks as I dropped to my knees, completely forgetting about the wolf standing right above us. Xavier reached a bloody hand out to me, which I instantly grasped sobbing.
            “I love you,” he breathed before his hand went limp and he fell still.
            I screamed, crying. A fierce growl ripped out of the wolves’ throat. Snapping my head up head up to glare at the wolf, I slowly stood up.
            “This is your fault,” I yelled, seeing red. In one swift motion, the wolfs head was rolling on the blood stained grass. I kicked it and its body away from Xavier.
            My rage completely took over me; it numbed my pain of a broken heart. I went on a rampage cutting off every werewolf head in my path. By the time I had literally cut my way back to Xaviers’ body, there was less than three quarters of the werewolf army left, mainly because of me. I huffed and puffed and literally blew the werewolf army down.

So much for the “all powerful” werewolf army, I thought to myself darkly.
            I collapsed beside Xaviers’ body, the rage diminishing. I realized how peaceful he looked and I brushed a piece of dark hair away from his forehead. His skin was colder then ice when my finger came in contact with his forehead. Something inside me cracked, and I broke down. I started bawling my eyes out resting my head against his chest armour.

You must be strong Artemis, not just for yourself but for everyone else, Artemis spoke in a soft tone to me through my thoughts.
            It was almost dark when the remaining few werewolves finally fled from the field and the vampire army looked around.
            “Artemis? Artemis, where are you?” I heard Ryder and Damien calling me. I couldn’t answer them. I was too choked up.
            “She’s over here, my sons! She’s- oh dear god! No. Oh no, no, no,” the king cried, dropping onto the other side of Xavier.
            “Artemis, what are you…” Damien began but stopped when he saw Xavier. He also dropped to his knees.
            “What’s everyone freaking out about?” Ryder asking, walking up to us but paused, his face horror struck when he caught sight of his oldest brother. He fell to the ground and slowly crawled over until he was kneeling beside me.
            “Jesus Xavier, look what you’ve gone and done to yourself. Shit, Artemis? Can you hear me? Dad, Damien, I think she’s in shock,” Ryder exclaimed, worried.

A hand touch my shoulder and I whipped around pulling a hand knife out of my boot and pressing it into Damiens neck until a bit of blood started to flow. I instantly dropped the knife, scrambling backwards away from the king, Ryder, Damien and Xaviers body.
            “I-I’m so s-sorry,” I stammered, as I continued to back up away from everyone who was now watching.
            “Artemis, it’s okay. It was an accident, I’m already healing,” Damien said, raising his hands in surrender.
            I shook my head, got to my feet and darted off. I could hear everyone yelling for me as I ran full speed away from them. I had become a monster. I was blood-thirsty but, this kind was for revenge. Even though I had already killed the werewolf that killed Xavier, I wouldn’t stop until the werewolf race was extinct.

I will be here the whole time, my ancestor assured me.
          
  I raced through the trees, weaving in and out of them, jumping over branches, bushes and fallen trees with my mind set on my goal.

The hunters will now become the hunted. Ready or not, here I come, I thought smirking darkly to myself as I ran through the night.

 

The End

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