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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7. Illusion

Lily opened her eyes. The air was finally still. Hesitantly, she looked up at the vampire who was still holding her in his arms, as if she was nothing but a mere babe. He was looking straight ahead of her, his eyes shining starkly with red. Lily followed his gaze.

They were at the front gate of a huge castle, the like of which she had never seen before. Its sheer size seemed an impossibility, and she wondered idly if it was some kind of illusion. It couldn’t be real. However, with a great moan, the gate opened up before them. Behind it was a courtyard with a garden of roses at its heart, with the moon shining down an eerie light from above. The roses bloomed a deep dark red, and it was all just a little too perfect, Lily still couldn’t quite believe what she was seeing. The vampire released her from his grasp, and she willingly walked inside, completely entranced by the roses. She felt a compelling urge to touch them, to see if they were real. Inhaling deeply, she drunk in their perfume. It was absolutely exquisite. Slowly letting her fingers run across the velvety petals, she sighed.

“What is this place?” She asked suddenly, turning around to face the vampire.

“I see you have taken a liking to my flowers.”, He laughed darkly, exposing his fangs with a smirk.

“M-hmm…” Lily averted her eyes from his face.

“This is our ancestral home,” He answered, “And you will stay here with me, forever.”

Lily looked up at him, eyes wide with shock, as he uttered those words which seethed with finality as they ushered in the end of her short-lived freedom.

“No. I- I can’t! Where is Dimitri?” Her voice rising several octaves, desperation, and urgency rushing through her every word.

All of a sudden, his hands were on either side of her face.

"You don't know my brother like I do, Lily." He stared intently into her eyes as he spoke, "I can help you."

His voice took on that entrancing pitch. It felt commanding as if ordering her body to give in to him. Lily tried to shake her head, pinching her eyes shut. She couldn't stand it.

"You... You are not making any sense. Who are you, really?" Her voice felt slurred from his onslaught, but she held onto her reserve.

Slowly, he released his grasp on her face, letting one of his icy fingers trace the length of her neck.

"My name is Ludovic. Dimitri is my brother by blood."

Lily flinched and stepped away from his reach. His face reminded her so much of Dimitri, it was heart-wrenching. However, his eyes were so different. Whenever she looked into them, it felt as if they were piercing through her very soul. His voice, although very similar to Dimitri, had a cutting coldness to it.

"I still don't understand. What is it that you can help me with?"

"Vampires are truly masters of illusion. We can do many things to tamper with the minds of humans." 

Ludovic picked off one of the roses and held it towards her as it quickly began to wither in his hand. Gasping, Lily backed away further.

"It is clear to me, that you have been influenced by Dimitri."

Lily looked down dejectedly.

"He made me forget."

That night, when he had taken her away, her memory of the events had been altered. One memory, the one that she now knew to be false, was that the last time she saw her father, it was to bid him goodnight. The other memory was that of looking down upon her father's lifeless corpse. Silent tears began making their way down her cheeks.

"I... I don't need your help..." She whispered.

"Oh, but Lily, there is so much more to it than that."

Suddenly, Ludovic stood within mere inches of her again. She didn't dare look up at him, nor did she bother to move.

"You are so enthralled by him that you see beauty where it is not."

Gently taking her hand in his, he made her touch the withered rose.

"This rose and the entire garden was already dead."

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