Forsaken Until the AM

Alona is a young hunter who finds herself caught between the love of her family and wanting to find the truth behind her birth and wanting to know why her clan detests her. Can the Vampire Prince before her help or will he be her downfall?

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10. Chapter 9

Alona looked about her new surroundings when she and Demetri had arrived at the sprawling white manor.
The room they stepped in was far larger than her bedroom at home and brightly lit by two large floor-to-ceiling windows draped in heavy cream colored curtains.
A large bed sat between the windows, a light blue canopy cascaded from its posts, matching the overstuffed comforter that lay over the bed.
Large paintings hung on every cream colored wall, each depicting fruitful gardens, Alona blushed as two lovers snuck a kiss in one such painting.
A darkly stained armoire sat against the far wall, vines twinning themselves over the doors to match the legs of a large desk that sat across from the bed holding a large vase of roses in varying colors.
Demetri gestured through the room, "This will be your room until we can get you something more permanent in the main house." He then gestured to a door on the far wall next to the armoire, "The washroom is through there if you would like to freshen up, the armoire is full of any clothing you may require, and if you desire any assistance, I have sent for a hand maid."
She smiled, "Thought of everything have you?"
He smiled, "Yes, we wish that you be as comfortable as possible."
"I see," she said, walking to the nearest window to look out over darkening trees. "I really don't think it's necessary, but thank you."
Demetri smiled, "Alona we hope that you will stay. You will find everything you could ever want or need with us."
She sat on the bed, sinking deeply into the comforter, thoughts of her brother still weighing heavy on her, "Demetri I know you and Tristan are just being kind, but I really don't know what I'm doing; for all I know Tristan will get bored with me and our father may not even want to see me."
He looked at her sadly, "Alona you are family, you've finally come back home. I know very well that father will be most happy to see you and as far as the young master is concerned, he is so very fond of you. If it worries you that much, perhaps you should take things slowly, and perhaps; over time, your relationship will turn into something more."
A knock at the door drew their attention away from their conversation.
"Come in," Demetri called.
The door opened to a petite young woman in a dark blue dress, high white collar and apron, her dark loafers matched the dark ribbon that was strung through her earthy hair.
"Master Demetrius, you sent for me," she said with a curtsy, her voice smooth and soft.
He nodded, "Yes, thank you Sylvia. I need you to take care of Miss Alona. She is the mistress here and I wish her to be taken well care of."
Alona blushed, pushing his arm, making him move away from her, "Demetri don't do that. I don't need people fawning over me. I can take care of myself."
He smiled down at her, "That maybe the case, but tonight it's important that you look your best."
She rolled her eyes, smiling, "Whatever, don't you have a master to attend to?"
He smiled, walking to the door, "Yes, I suppose I should be off. Lord knows he can't help but get himself into some kind of trouble."
She laughed, "Yeah, well then I suggest you go make sure that doesn't happen."
He nodded, walking to the door, "I will be back for you at eight."
"Okay, see you then."
He left the room, his steps fading down the hall.
She shook her head, making her way into the next room to find the young woman starting the bath, the deep smell of roses drifting delicately against her nose.
"If the mistress pleases, I can help you with your bath or I can ready your evening gown," she said, standing on the steps of the tub, drying her hands in her apron.
Alona's eyes grew wide as she looked about this room. It was a deep maroon color; cream colored porcelain floor tile sparkled in all directions. The large clawed bath sat elevated on two steps; its golden fixtures gleamed in the light of the large window next to it. Twin sinks sat on a light marble vanity before a sparkling mirror where she spotted her reflection. She snickered at the sight of silvery, white hair flying in all directions as dust clung to nearly every inch of her skin and dark clothes.
"My Lady?"
She shook her hand, "I'm fine, I'll manage my own bath."
The women nodded, “Alright, please enjoy your time."
Once the door was shut, she walked up the steps to the tub, rolling her fingers through the milky fluid, dark rose petals danced as she made ripples. Ensuring the door was shut, annoyed that there was no lock, she stripped herself and slid into the warm, soothing water.
Alona smiled as she found that unlike her own tub, she was able to fully stretch out and still have room for another person.
She felt her cheeks grow hot as the thought of a possible companion sitting behind her, caressing her neck and shoulders in light kisses.
"Oh god," she laughed, sliding under the water.
She returned to the surface once her thoughts cleared, resting against the slanted back of the tub, she sighed as her body gave into the warmth.
She didn't know how long she dozed, stirring as it felt a gentle rock against her shoulder.
"Mmm?"
"My Lady," a soft female voice called gently as another gentle rock came to her.
Alona's eyes opened to see Sylvia gazing down at her, a crimson towel lay in her arm.
Alona moaned again as she brought a hand to her forehead, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to doze off."
Sylvia smiled, "It’s alright, you wouldn't have done so if it was not needed."
She smiled, "Yeah, I suppose you're right. What time is it?"
Sylvia frowned, "A quarter past seven. I did not wish to disturb you Miss, but I must make you ready."
Alona nodded, standing to allow Sylvia to drape the towel over her. She then dried herself as the woman left the room, following moments later with the towel wrapped around her.
"My Lady please sit at the vanity so I may do your hair," the woman said, gesturing to a delicate glass and gold table with a matching seat made of deep red.
She looked at the piece of furniture, bewildered as to how she had missed it as it sat next to the armoire. She also found a screen had also been set up for her to change. Alona smiled at how simple this piece looked compared to everything else in the room.
After doing as she was told, Sylvia set to work massaging Alona's scalp with a rose petal brush.
Some time had passed when Alona caught the scent of earth and grass with hints of wildflowers, smiling as she realized it was coming from the woman behind her.
"That is a very nice perfume you're wearing," she said.
Sylvia stopped her musing, her breath catching, "I don't wear perfume Miss."
"Really," Alona said confused, "Whatever it is, it's lovely."
Sylvia nodded, "Thank you Miss."
Alona frowned, "I wish you wouldn't call me that. I don't belong to any title."
Sylvia ran the brush over a few stubborn strands of hair, "I'm sorry Miss Alona, but you are a guest of Master Demetrius. I must obey his wishes."
Alona rolled her eyes, glancing at the woman's soft features, "Sylvia will you take offense if I ask you something?"
The woman smiled, "Not at all, what do you wish to know?"
She sighed, "You aren't like everyone I've met so far, are you?"
Again the woman stopped, "What do you mean?"
"You're not like Demetri or Tristan."
The woman's features grew fearful, "I assure you, I do not quite under..."
"You're not a Noble, like them."
She fidgeted with her apron, her face hidden by her bangs, "No Miss, I am not. Is that a problem?"
Seeing that she caused the woman distress, Alona spun, "No, not at all, I'm sorry."
Sylvia sighed, "How did you know I'm not like Master Demetrius and Master Tristan?"
Alona glanced at her worriedly, "You don't carry yourself the way they do."
She looked at her curiously, a smile spreading over her lips, "No, I'm not like them, myself and many of the staff are lycans who have been serving the family for generations."
Alona's eyes grew wide, an excited smile crossing her lips, "Really, I've never met a lycan. How did you come to be here? Where are you from? I thought lycan stayed away from Nobles."
Sylvia looked down at her in shock, a giggle escaping when she realized the woman didn't care how she was born and held a genuine curiosity for her.
"Yes, we generally do try to stay off the paths of the nobles. We cherish our freedom, but because we tend to get into trouble, that is when we run into our masters, living in chains and suffering abuse, but it's not all bad."
"Really?"
She nodded, smiling, "Though some of us find masters who can be cruel and heartless, myself and several others have found salvation with the Balan family. We have been treated fairly and even received compensation. Our only duty is to be loyal protectors to the family."
Alona smiled as every thought on what she had learned about this wild creature was completely erased.
Sylvia smiled, "May I ask you something?"
"Yes, anything."
"I wish to ask you the same; you don't seem to be like any Nobel I have ever met."
Alona smiled, "I'm half noble, my mother was a human and my father is a member of this house."
Sylvia stopped her musing, shock cracking her voice, "You're a halfling, a true halfling?"
Alona grew startled, "Yeah, so I've been told. Tristan had me brought here to meet my father tonight. I've already met my brother."
Sylvia smiled excitedly, "Do you know who your father is? Who is you brother? Who is your mother?"
Alona smiled, "I don't know my father, but Demetri is my older brother."
Sylvia cried out excitedly, "Master Demetrius is your brother, really? Your father is the highest ranking member to the family just under the Lord Master and his family, Anton Dantis, advisor to Master Tristan's father."
"What, no."
She nodded, "Yes, he will be so happy to finally see you. He's been so worried about you and your mother."
Alona expression saddened, "My mother passed away when I was born."
Sylvia's breath caught, "I'm so sorry My Lady, I didn't know."
Alona shrugged, "It was a long time ago, what information I have on she and my father is small, so I'm hoping he'll accept me and tell me more about who I am."
She placed a hand on the woman's shoulder, "He will be so very happy to meet you."
Sylvia drew her away from the vanity the stand behind the changing screen where she helped her change into a crimson gown.
Sylvia noticed two deep scars across the woman's shoulders as she buttoned the back of the gown, "Miss Alona may I inquire about these?"
Alona smiled, "They're gifts from my people."
The woman grew curious, "These are from bullets; how can they possibly be gifts when they no doubt hurt you so?"
Alona shrugged, "I disobeyed and received my punishment. They'll go away in a few more weeks."
Sylvia frowned, "A people should not hurt their own so easily. May I ask what happened?"
She frowned, looking down at the floor, "I was protecting someone I care about and ended up going after the wrong people."
"I see; I hope the person you protected is alright."
Alona smiled, "From what I gather, he is just fine."
Sylvia stepped away once she had finished.
Alona's breath caught as she looked herself over in the full mirror. Her silvery hair had been brought up into a tight bun, secured by a crimson ribbon, the lower section of locks cascaded over her right shoulder. Her features caressed with a simple layer of makeup, soft pink blush and a maroon lip. Her gown, matching her lips and ribbon, began its cut off of her shoulders, wrapping tightly around her waist, slimming her already slender waist and hips then delicately cascading to her ankles, a silver rhinestone belt wrapped around her waist to accent the gown.
Alona slowly spun before the mirror, taking in the sight that captivated her.
She felt completely awestruck at the sight, the fabric soft and smooth against her body. She hadn't realized it before, but she was a beautiful woman if she took the time to try.
A gentle knock brought her back from her enthrallment, "It's open.
Demetri entered, wearing a black tail coat and pants, his hands covered in white gloves. A red tie wrapped around his neck, a gold medallion hanging delicately under it. His fiery red hair was tied back with a red string, allowing his masked face more exposure.
Alona smiled, seeing his green eyes sparkle behind the deep red mask.
"I see you are also partial to red," she laughed.
He smiled, "Yes, well, it is a passionate color."
He held a hand out to her, a delicate red mask; lay in his palm, "I wanted to bring this to you."
She took the object, examining the intricate beading and soft roses at the temple, "Why?"
He shrugged, "The celebration tonight is a masquerade, something the master enjoys."
She smiled, placing it against her face, "Isn't that a bit cliché?"
Demetri sighed, "Yes, well, the master has always enjoyed a good mystery."
She smiled, "Really, I wouldn't take him for someone who would be found of something like a masquerade."
She stood before the mirror, looking over her features; smiling though her heart fell as she thought of how she could repay the kindness she had been receiving.
Demetri felt her stress grow, placing a hand on her bare shoulder, "Are you alright?"
She nodded, sighing, "I'll never be able to thank him enough for what he has done for me."
He smiled, "He doesn't want anything but the time to get to know you. He adores you and enjoys that you treat him as a man rather than a Prince."
She was happy for the mask that covered her face as a heated feeling crept across her cheeks, "If I had known he was a Prince, I may have been a bit nicer."
He laughed, "Yes, well, if you had been nicer, you would not have been returned to your family and Master Tristan would not have become a love-sick idiot."
Alona felt her cheeks grow hotter as she placed a hand over her face in the hopes to hide the crimson that spread past her cheeks.
He held out his hand to her, "Shall we go; I'm sure Master Tristan is growing anxious right now. He was biting at the bit the last I had seen him."
She smiled as her heart began to race at the thought of seeing Tristan.
"Then let's not keep him waiting."
The two made their way through the sparkling white halls, Alona admiring the several paintings as they walked.
"How long have you been singing," he asked.
She took a moment to think, "Almost six years, what about you?"
He shrugged, "Just over ten. Master Tristan uses it to avoid his duties and he enjoys being a thorn in the Lord Master's side because of it."
She smiled, "I can't imagine."
He returned the smile, "Yeah."
The two walked in awkward silence until she noticed him glancing at her, his expression curious.
She smiled, "If there is something you want to ask, please don't hesitate."
He closed his eyes, sighing, "Yes, I'm sorry, I'm usually someone who prides himself in knowing it all, but I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable."
She laughed, "You're so sweet Demetri. Alright, I'll help you; I'll be twenty next week. I'm told I look like my mother, but I've only seen pictures of her. I was raised by my older brother when my mother passed away. I love to sing, I have my friends to thank for showing me. My favorite color is red and I love roses. “She grew solemn, "and I hate being a hunter."
He smiled, "Really?"
She nodded, "I want a normal life, to be a singer and have a relationship that doesn't involve keeping people at arm’s length."
He felt his chest grow tight, Tristan was right, he had become a brother in only a day and yet he couldn't resist protecting her.
He placed a hand over hers, "Alona, I can only imagine what you've been though, but with you being here you'll never have to worry about that again."
She smiled, "Thank you, I hope so."
The sound of music and talking drew their attention to the end of the hall.
People dressed elegantly, spun around the brightly lit room of gold, more paintings covered the walls as a line of glass doors opened into the night, allowing for cooling air to carry into the space.
Alona's heart began to race as she watched happy couples whirled around each other.
Demetri felt her stop, turning to find her fidgeting with her dress. He bent down to her height, "What's the matter?"
Her wide eyes scanned the room, her voice a whisper, "So many people, and they're all here for Tristan."
He shrugged, looking out over the crowd, "Some are family and others are acquaintances to the young master." He placed a hand on her shoulder, "You are never safer than being here among family and friends."
She nodded, taking a deep breath.
He drew her against his side as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, "Will you breathe easier if you knew Master Tristan is just across the way?"
Her heart gave a flutter as she searched for the man; finding him look out over the mass, dressed in the same way as Demetri only he wore a red and gold sash over his chest and shoulders, his shoulder length hair was pulled back into a small ponytail, his bangs sweeping over the left side of his face to obscure the white mask that hid his fiery eyes.
She smiled as he solemnly stood next to a larger framed man, smiling and nodding to those who spoke to him, but returning to his somber state when they moved on.
A dark haired man tapped his shoulder from behind, whispering in his ear. She watched him quickly look in their direction, nodding as a smile spread over his lips.
She followed, nodding her head as she smiled as well.

 

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