Princess In The Dark

Lucia is The Princess In The Dark, a highly ranked member of a large coven of vampires. Hiding in the gloom of the tunnels under London, her only pleasure is to hunt.
She lives this life every day, and does not feel even the slightest portion of remorse or guilt for all the lives she has taken. Lucia also happens to be the only daughter of their leader, The Count, putting her in a position with many enemies and lurking dangers, leaving more responsibility on her shoulders than she would have otherwise wished for.
She then meets 18-year-old James, and begins to notice that he is different, strange... And that he is changing her in the most peculiar way...

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Lucia moaned hoarsely, coughing and spluttering as she wiped the remaining vomit on her bare shoulder. She could not be more thankful that her body had repelled the liquid that now pooled up at her feet, no doubt saving her from pain. She felt the sweat erupting everywhere on her hot skin, leaving her hair sticky and damp, and the palms of her hands completely soaked through. The cuffs at the ends of the chains felt slick against her wrists, although they still burned. She took all this in as she assessed the situation, starting slightly to wonder when The Count would release her. Surely this was more than enough punishment for such an insignificant crime, if it could be called a crime at all? She lifted her head slightly, along with her eyelids, drooping from exhaustion, to stare around the room. Cerberus had leaped out of the way in plenty of time. Moros, however, had been less fortunate, his boots slightly soiled with the mixture of blood and Holy Water they had forced down her throat only moments ago. He now stepped back slowly, still managing to keep his expression passive and completely drained of emotion. Lucia raised her left eyebrow, silently questioning their next move. She knew already what hers would be. As soon as she was released, she would make them regret their actions. Already she could see possible plans forming in her mind, simply options to choose from. She had to get to them alone, they were far too strong together. As Moros stood, now motionless, the very slightest hint of a smile curled along the corners of Cerberus' lips. Lucia found this slightly unnerving, seeing no reason for his amusement as she was clearly unharmed. As if Cerberus could read her thoughts, he shook his head very slightly in response. A spark of anticipation instantly lit in Moros' eyes, something he could not control. They were now both staring at her, waiting for a reaction. What reaction? Had her body not just averted the dangers of consuming Holy Water, if there was anything at all to be averted? She raised her eyebrow further, a slight hiss passing her clenched teeth. The twitching at the corners of Cerberus' mouth now fully transformed into a grim, tight-lipped smile. His eyes glistened with misplaced, unjustified hatred as he glared at her, awaiting the unknown. She met his gaze with equal, if not superior, contempt. That was when she felt it. She felt the sudden stab of pain in her gut, the stab that came and went so quickly that she barely had time to register it before she faded into unconsciousness.

Darkness. No sound. Where was she? She was still chained against the wall, but something was different... The silence was uncomfortably, ear-piercingly loud. Impossible to ignore. Something else was off, too. A thick mist lapped against her ankles, covering the floor of the room, seeping down the thick stone walls from the ceiling. It all seemed unreal, a dizzy haze. Her sight was slightly blurred, creating the illusion that the room twisted and bent in ways that shouldn't be possible. It seemed smaller as well, a tight, claustrophobic space. She tried to make sense of the murky pool of distraught thoughts and loose ends her mind had become. How had she come here? She faintly remembered being dragged through dimly-lit passages, both her arms held forcefully by strong, steady hands.... Murmuring voices... The face of her father, a look of disappointment and spite on his face... She shook her head slightly, trying to erase the last image from her memory. None of it made sense. She attempted rattling the thick, silver chains that bound her to create sound in the unnatural silence, only to discover that the chains dug so tightly into the walls that there was no conceivable way of rattling them. This alarmed her. She tugged at every one of them, the ones attached to her ankles as well as the ones attached to her wrists. Nothing. The silence began throbbing at her ears. She jerked around more desperately, trying to create sound as the silence grew more painful, now hammering at her skull. She tried to let out a moan of pain, but no noise escaped her lips. She tried to speak. To scream. The silence simply grew more agonizing, thudding at her temples, now seeming to come upon her  from the inside. She banged her head against the hard, cold wall behind her. Still the silence grew. Another noiseless scream passed her lips as she frantically slammed her entire frame up against it, squirming and fighting as the pain thundered on, forever increasing it's strength. The silence was so loud that she could not even think, not even her mental pleads and cries could be heard. And yet she was determined, thrashing her head against the ragged, harsh stones in the wall. Still the silence grew, along with her thrashing and the pain in her throat as she let silent scream upon silent scream burst into the cold, dark nightmare around her. She barely noticed the thick, hot liquid pouring out from the back of her head before she heard the one noise that broke the silence. Drip. Drip. Drip. The constant flow of mist from the ceiling was immediately replaced by blood, trickling down the walls. Hitting the floor with unnerving clarity, she was aware of every single drop that stained the smooth, black surface of the ground beneath her. Drip. Drip. Drip. The smell was not desirable. It was the rotten stench of decay. Of death. Drip. Drip. Drip. The shadows at the far end of the room began to move. It was wrong. This was wrong. Lucia began tugging again, but to no avail. No matter how much she tried, she could not move away from the approaching figure, cloaked in mist, coming closer... Closer.... The eyes in the shadows glowed a scarlet red, as did the blood pouring from the descending woman's parted, chapped lips. Penny Hart. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Penny moved towards her, dragging her heavy, rotting carcass through the pools of red on the floor. Lucia could not move. Penny reached her without a word, simply stood in front of her and glared into her eyes. "Hello, Lucia." The hushed, silken whisper burned through her ragged, damaged brain like a flaming bullet. Penny lifted her right hand and stroked it across Lucia's trembling cheek. Only a few fingers were left, the putrid flesh showing through the many patches not covered by skin. Her icy touch left a streak of cold blood on the side of Lucia's face. "So beautiful... Such a waste, don't you think?"  She murmured,  turning her head with an uncomfortable, complaining crunch of old bones as she addressed the shadows, seeming to flicker in agreement. Penny tutted in disapproval, her face an ugly scowl as Lucia tried to pull herself as far from the corpse in front of her as possible. Her breath quickened as the place seemed to sink deeper and deeper into the frames of a nightmare, of a place as far from reality as could possibly be... And yet it was so close.... Drip. Drip. Drip. Penny leaned forward, turning her steady whisper into a rough, husky voice of unmistakeable disapproval. "He is alone now. Because of you... " The last three words seemed to echo off the walls, repeating themselves to her several times, drilling into her mind. She tried to protest, but she knew resistance was futile, she had no voice. She knew there was to be shown no mercy, for she had shown none herself. "He has no-one left..." Penny's hot, reeking breath on Lucia's face was almost as sickening as her words, sending waves of nausea through her stomach. Drip. Drip. Drip. Lucia stared straight into her eyes, seeing the resentment and blame that glowered there. "Do you know what it feels like, Lucia?" Lucia didn't say a word. She couldn't. She was muted, just as Penny had been that night. Nothing Penny could have said would matter to her, she would have died nonetheless, she would have no choice. Back then. "To have your very life sucked out?" There was a threatening edge to her voice. Lucia opened her eyes wide in realization, just before Penny's teeth closed around her neck. More silent screams than she had ever uttered broke into the thick, moist air in the room. In the shadows, she saw the faces of the dead, her victims, watching. Enjoying the show.

A real, blood-curdling scream passed her lips as she opened her eyes, staring into an empty room. A perfectly normal empty room. She jerked her body in surprise, the noise of the rattling chains reassuring her immediately. The pool of vomit was still at her feet. Apart from that, it was empty. As it always had been. She slowed her breathing, trying to stretch her neck far enough for her fingertips to wipe some of the sweat from her cheeks. But there was no sweat. A cold streak of blood met her hand. Drip. Drip. Drip.

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