Dark and Dawn

Lily has never had any control over her own life.
Now, her father has promised her to another man, but she is in love with a vampire who will risk everything to keep her safe.
However, their love is dangerous, and it plunges her life into darkness.
Will Lily ever be free?
Can she really trust anyone, let alone herself?

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3. Dawn

When Lily woke, it was dawn. She found herself sitting on a softly cushioned chair, with Dimitri's cape covering her body. It was nice and warm. The carriage was no longer moving. She looked up to see that Dimitri was kneeling down in front of her. 

“Did you sleep well, my love?”, He asked as he gently traced his hand across her cheek.

Lily blushed red as she nodded. Without his cape, the contours of his long arms, and exquisitely broad shoulders were plain to see. However, it was his eyes which really made her heart throb. Letting the cape slide off of her shoulders, she stood up, but winced as she felt a sharp stab of pain in her head. Dimitri immediately put his arms around her as she began to wobble. Somehow it felt like the floor beneath her was tipping over as if she was going to fall. It was a very dizzying experience.

“My head”, she whispered as she leaned into him.

“Lily,” Dimitri sighed into her hair, “Would you lie down in the coffin with me?”

He felt her stiffen in his arms.

"I can’t”.

Dimitri caressed her soothingly with his fingers massaging soft circles in her back. She felt instantly at ease.

“Maybe I should go outside,” She suggested before he could persuade her into the coffin again.

“You’re safer in here, my love."

Lily looked up and smiled encouragingly at him.

“I’ll be fine”.

Reluctantly, he loosened his arms and put his hands on either side of her head.

“Stay near the carriage, Lily. Do you understand?”

“I promise I won’t go far”, she breathed as she felt lost in his intense gaze.

 

As she stepped outside, she was met by the bright glare of the morning sun. Shielding her eyes, she began to make sense of her surroundings. It was a small meadow, so the sun shined much more brightly through the trees and she could see the sky up above. It was beautiful.

Lily lay down in a soft bed of grass and closed her eyes as she listened to the sounds of the forest. It was all so new to her. She could hear the wind as it whispered gentle sighs and the leaves rustling in response. She could hear the chattering of little birds all around her. She didn’t know if they were far away or if they were near. She couldn’t see them, but she knew that they were there.

Last night seemed like a distant memory. She could barely remember. It was all so dark. Her father was so angry. Would he come looking for her? Lily sighed. It didn't matter as long as she was with Dimitri.

Dimitri. Just the thought of him made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was as if there were butterflies fluttering around. It was still such an incredible feeling to be in love.Though they were worlds apart, Lily felt that she had a true connection with him. They belonged together.

Slowly but surely, Lily began to smile. Finally, she was looking forward to the future. The ache in her head wasn’t so bad anymore. Her mind began to wander. It felt like she was dreaming. There were so many colours, so much light and so much warmth. There was finally hope.

Suddenly, she was lifted from the ground. A strong hand clasped over her mouth before she could manage to scream. The only sound that came was a muffled cry. Lily tried to struggle, but the arms that held her were locked like iron.

“Be still, little girl. I mean you no harm”, a deep throaty voice hushed her in the ear.

Lily moaned in frustration as she tried to free herself. Slowly, she was dragged backwards, further and further away from the carriage and into the darkness of the trees. Desperately she cried out for Dimitri as the carriage disappeared from her sight, but nothing escaped the iron clasp over her mouth. Tears began streaming down her face.

“Hush now, it will all be over soon”, the voice soothed.

He spun her around, gently forcing her back against a tree as his hand stayed locked over her mouth. She was met by the sight of a tall and muscular man, who was clad in a full armour of silver that glinted despite the darkness. A long black cloak was draped over his shoulder. Beneath it, she could see the hilt of a sword. His countenance was very stern, though he smiled as he looked down on her.

“He didn’t lie when he told me of your beauty”, He whispered in awe.

Lily’s eyes widened as he held up a little vial filled with a purplish fluid. With a single motion, he removed his hand from her mouth and put it under her chin.

“Drink.”

She tried to shake her head but he tightened his grip on her chin and forced the vial into her lips. The force he used was so strong, that her lips began to part and she felt the liquid pour into her throat. He loosened his grip on her chin as the last drop touched her lips.

Lily staggered forwards as she felt a heavy wave of darkness overtake her. She stumbled into the man and he put an arm around her. Disgusted, she tried to shake him off, but the darkness numbed her limbs. His hands now held all of her weight.

“Don’t fight it,” He whispered.

“Mm-let me go…” She mumbled as she felt her eyelids droop.

"Keep your hands off of her!" Dimitri growled, a deep menacing sound.

Though he was well within the shelter of the trees, the few rays of sun that made it through beat down on him mercilessly. Each step was so laboured, it was as if his ankles had been chained with cinder blocks.

"Di...mitri..." 

Lily tried to warn him about the sword, but her whole body had gone completely limp. She could barely move her lips. Just keeping her eyes open was a struggle, her lids fluttered uselessly.

"You fool!" The man bellowed.

"You..." Dimitri sneered, "You are the fool to disobey me. Let her go."

"Ha! Come at me then, Vampire." 

Lily huffed out a breath of pain as she was dropped to the ground.

That was all it took. It all happened very fast, then. One second, Dimitri was several yards away, and the next, he was upon the silver-clad knight. His claws made awful screeching noises as they dug deep into the armour. Before Dimitri could strike another blow, the knight pulled out his sword and swung. He was so weakened by the sun, that he did not have time to dodge the attack. The sword struck Dimitri in the shoulder.

"Nn...No! Please..." Lily cried out feebly as the blood hit the ground in front of her. 

The knight looked down at her, distracted by the girl's obscene love for the vampire. His neck was now exposed. Dimitri struck like lightning, sinking his fangs deeply into the knight's flesh. This time, he jumped backwards before the sword could hit him again.

"Argh," The knight roared out in pain and frustration, "Bloodsucking beast!"

Realisation hit the knight with a deep stab of shame as blood began pouring down his neck. The fight was no longer in his favour. Holding his hand over the wound, he looked down at Lily again. Then, he sprinted. Grabbing her, he swung her limp body over his shoulder.

Dimitri used every ounce of his strength to get back on his feet, reaching towards Lily. Wincing, he dropped his arm as the pain in his shoulder became too great. The sun's rays were like daggers digging into his exposed flesh.

"Don't take her from me!" His voice echoed throughout the forest.

That was the last thing Lily heard before she completely succumbed to the darkness.

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