Lost souls

Talia has to make the biggest sacrifice, abandon her humanity to become a vampire in order to save her sister. However she gets caught up in the dark side of the realm where supernatural creatures dwell and she must try to survive ...

The amazing cover is by the talented @River_Summers :)

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10. Chapter ten

“You may rise,” Darina’s voice rang out, clear as glass.

   Matthew staggered up and haul Talia up with him by the arm.

   The Queen stepped forward, her heels clicking on the hard ground. She grabbed hold of Matthew’s face and he winced as her blackened nails dug into the flesh of his jaw.

   “Why do I find you in here again, little brother? Tell me,” she said, her lips curling up slightly in amusement at seeing him squirm.

   Talia’s eyes darted from Matthew to Darina to see any resemblance of them being siblings, she felt distress at the way she taunted him like she was doing the same to her.

    “I beheaded a vampire again,” he replied quietly.

    She let his jaw go and left red nail marks in his face, his eyes glistened slightly.

    “Do you know who you beheaded?”

    She walked round the back of him, he did not turn to watch her but kept his eyes facing towards the cell door and so Talia thought it wise to follow his lead. She kept flinching at each click of the vampire’s heel, she could almost imagine the icy breath prickling the back of her neck, if of course vampires did need to breathe.

   “I beheaded a corrupt politician and murderer who tortured and killed humans for fun, and tried to hurt my newborn,” Matthew said, the anger lining the edge of his voice.

   “This one?” Darina inquired, and Talia felt her nails claw through her hair threatening to pull it. She examined Talia closely, pulling apart her appearance bit by bit until she was completely exposed.

   “Yes.”

   Darina moved closer taking in the scent of Talia’s blood. “You created a newborn,” she sneered. Her hand brushed Talia’s hair back over her shoulder to expose her neck. “Scared little newborn,” she whispered in her ear, and pulled away. “I can sense she is your newborn, I am surprised you have picked a human, I thought you were too distraught about the idea of the change.” She walked away from them and called, “Guards please escort the two to my palace they are guests along with the assassin, the warrior and the witch.”

    Darina left the cell and only when she was out of sight that Talia whispered, “Matthew who is the assassin, the warrior and the witch?” She almost wanted him to bring her into his arm in a hug to bring some comfort, the coldness of the Queen's presence clung to her skin.

    “She means Natasha, Seth and Xavier,” he replied.

  

***

Talia was firstly awe-struck by the large room that was the size of a whole floor in an average sized house. It consisted of soft blues, purples and startling white colour scheme. Firstly there was the living which was merged with the kitchen that was separated by the change from carpet to tiles. There were two doors which lead to a bedroom and bathroom. It was only when you were nearer the centre of the room by the sofa that you saw the door to the small pantry room tucked away in the corner, filled with a store of blood bags. Talia was immediately drawn to them and drained half of the supply in the first five minutes.

   Matthew commanded a handmaid to fetch more supplies. Unfortunately she was human and it pained Talia to use all her mental strength to force herself to stay rooted to one spot, staring hungrily at her like a dog seeing its owner eat their dinner.

   After the handmaid had left and the thirst sated, Talia could finally explore more of the room. She found the huge balcony that stretched out from the palace, the shimmering purple net curtains twisted and twirled in the light breeze that entered the room.

   It was her favourite place because it was far away from the one aspect of the place she hated; the double-bed in the bedroom. It was beautifully arranged with plump gold, blue and purple cushions and looked to be soft and promised a good night’s sleep, but it was a double bed and no other bed had been set up. Talia felt repulsed by the idea of sleeping in the same bed as Matthew. Luckily he saw her disgusted expression and reminded her that he no longer slept as much as a human, only one or two hours. He winked as he mentioned that was when the nightmares didn't annoy him. She would be the only one using a bed as she still sleeps during the whole day being a young vampire and all. Some weird side-effect of the vampire transformation that lasted two years at best like how someone slept constantly during a recovery from an illness, he explained.

   It was later on in the night and Talia was stood over the bed. Contemplating over a dress that had been laid out for her to wear.

   “Why do I have to wear this dress? Why are we here? Is the Queen really your sis-?” she asked, looking over her shoulder at Matthew.

   He put a finger on her lips to silence her questions and she shoved his hand away in annoyance.

   “Don’t you dare try to silence me,” she said.

   He smirked. “Sweetheart, I am only hushing your constant questions you are bombarding me with,” he replied, his fingers about to stroke her face but she recoiled. “The Queen expects you to wear this dress.” Matthew walked over to the bed and touched the dark blue silk dress. Talia could barely admit to admiring the dress. “The Queen does have a wonderful taste in gowns- by the way she is only my sister by vampire blood nothing else- I think you would look lovely in this sweetheart.”

   She crossed her arms over her chest and replied, “Then I definitely don’t want to wear it!”

   Matthew frowned at her. “If the Queen offers you a dress to wear you wear it sweetheart.”

   “I don’t care what the Queen offers, I will not wear the dress and I will not go to this ridiculous ball!” Talia began to pace the room. “The Queen is a bitch basically and I don’t like her, you or anybody telling me what I can and can’t do in this horrible hell.” She sat down in the chair and closed her eyes for a moment.

   “Such treasonous talk,” Matthew said, smirking that smirk which made her blood boil.

   “Why did she change you in that place, why you and I thought no knew who changed you anyway?”

   “Oh I wasn’t changed by Darina,” Matthew said, giggling to himself. “I was changed by one of the royal traitors, there were a few so I don’t know who changed me. Whoever they are I will ripped the black heart out of that bastard.”

   “You said it was just some vampire,” she said, crossing her legs to get more comfortable.

   “Well I wanted to keep some secrets for our eternity together sweetheart,” he replied.

   “Stop calling me sweetheart,” Talia said. “I hate it, makes me sound like I’m your property or something, you do it just to aggravate me don’t you?”

   Matthew’s expression grew serious. “I just like calling you sweetheart.”

   “Well I don’t like it and I want that dress out of my sight, I hate it,” she said, giving a dismissive sweep of her hand like it was an order.

   There was a light tap at the door and both froze.

   “You can enter,” Matthew called.

   Talia felt her stomach tense tightly like her supposed treasonous talk had been heard and the Queen could be seriously wanting to behead or stake her.

    The door opened and the person was hidden by the door for a moment so Talia felt more light-headed and queasy with dread.

   “Good evening,” Natasha said, and she appeared from around the door.

   Talia felt relief and saw Matthew had relaxed too.

   Natasha was wearing a beautiful dark red dress that hugged her figure and shimmered in the light, she wore no make-up and her hair still had the day’s knots tangled in it. She still appeared naturally beautiful and smiled warmly at Talia, her eyes settled on the untouched dress.

   “Matthew will you please leave, I think I and Talia need some privacy,” she said, seeing him annoyed. “You can talk to Seth.”

   He glanced back at Talia and slunk past Natasha.

   “Do I have to talk to the air of sophisticated that is Seth,” he asked, the sarcasm clear in his voice.

   “You don’t have to Matthew, if you really don’t want to,” Natasha said in a tone like she was talking to a child.  “I would rather you did though.” That sounded more like an instruction than a request which sent him out of the room grumbling to himself.

   “He likes Seth really,” she said, glancing back at the now closed door. “Now what about this dress, why do you not want to wear it?” She looked at Talia who had crossed her arms over her chest.

    “How do you know about the dress?” Talia asked, suspicious of the vampire’s motives.

    “I couldn’t help overhearing, by accident of course,” she replied apologetically, raising her hands up in self-defence, she tapped the tip of her ear. “Vampire hearing sometimes leads to accidental eavesdropping.”

   Talia thought about who had heard her call the Queen a bitch but she still smiled slightly. “I guess it’s good for finding out gossip though,” she said.

   Natasha laughed. “Yes, you find out many surprising details about people.” She walked over to the bed that had the dress draped over it. “Stand up please,” she said. Talia followed her instruction because she did not want annoy her. Carefully, Natasha lifted the dress up by the straps and held in front of her, in line with Talia. Her face scrunched up in thought as she looked from the dress to Talia for a few moments. Eventually she said, “This dress is lovely and suits your eyes and dark hair, do you like the dress?”

   Talia admitted to herself that it was a gorgeous dress, before all this she and Ella would be fighting over wearing such a dress. “It is a nice dress,” she mumbled, unable to keep up the pretence of hating the dress itself in front of Natasha.

   “Then why don’t you wear it, Queen Darina did pick out this dress for you-well one of her stylists- and Matthew likes it.”

    Talia bit back a nasty reply about Matthew. “I want to wear something that I chose,” she replied stubbornly.

   Natasha placed the dress back onto the bed. “It would be sad to see this dress unworn and the Queen would not be too happy that you refuse to wear her gift.”

    “I don’t care about what the Queen thinks,” Talia snapped, her vision narrowed and she placed a hand on her temple. “I need to feed,” she mumbled, and dashed out of the room into the small pantry. She wrenched open the fridge and grabbed a blood bag, tearing it open with her fangs, and gulped down the tangy substance.

    “I struggled with the thirst too,” Natasha said, she was stood at the door watching her feed. She stepped inside and went to the fridge. “You are so lucky, nice fresh blood and I get week old blood in my pantry.” She picked a bag off its hook. “Can I steal one?”

    Talia nodded and was already reaching for a second bag.

    “I was always hungry, I had a terrible time transitioning into a newborn,” Natasha said, pausing only to open the bag and took a sip. “I was unwilling to follow the Queen’s wishes or anyone’s wishes, I escaped here when they were looking after me, killed half the Queen’s guard.” She drank more deeply.

   Talia placed the empty bags into the bin. “You really killed half of the Queen’s guards?” she asked. Natasha nodded. “Is that why you are the assassin?” Talia blurted out the question before she could stop and saw Natasha’s surprised expression.

   “Did Matthew tell you that?” she asked, in a normal voice not the angry one Talia thought she might use. It still did not stop her being hesitant about answering her.

   “Not really, the Queen called you an assassin, well she just said assassin and I asked Matthew who she meant and he said it was you.”

   Natasha crumpled the empty blood bag in her hand. “Ah, makes more sense, yes I was an assassin as a human, after killing half of her guard instead of executing me I was hired as one of her guard. She thought I was deadly.”

   “Were you?”

   Natasha simply smiled and took Talia’s hand. “Let’s get ready for the ball or we will be late,” she said in an excitable tone, and began to pull her to the door.

   “I don’t know if I want to go,” Talia said, pulling her hand free.

   “Why not? It is in your honour, being the first royal newborn in decades and Matthew’s first,” Natasha said, seeing Talia’s unsure expression she pulled her in a hug. “Oh Talia I know you don’t want to go along with all this, you only have to do this the once and never again, once in all eternity.” Natasha loosened her hold, smiling at her. Talia felt comforted, like she had found a friend in this world. “Now let me get you ready, wear the dress because I know you like the dress very much yes?”

   Talia shrugged her shoulders. “I guess.”

    “Of course you do,” Natasha replied, shaking her head at the vague answer. “You realise Talia that I have been searching for a best girlfriend for a while, hanging out with the men as in Seth and Matthew does not beat a good girly talk or bitch even.” She laughed and linked arms with Talia who found herself laughing. “I am going to make you Talia the most desirable vampire in that room!” 

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