Now presenting the grand finale of my Halloween fanfics:D This is actually the fanfic that started my sudden desire to write stuff for Halloween, so you can thank this one for anything you have suffered thusfar XD I had said I'd write something creepy to make up for fluff overload and I think I delivered on that for the most part in this one.
So yes, enjoy!!
Fortunes of Fear
Night had fallen over the massive city of Sedona, one of the biggest trade cities in the eastern isles. The humans inside the city who had a place to call home were long since tucked safely into their beds, safe from what lurked outside.
But not all were granted such security, left to huddle fearfully in the pitch darkness as they gazed up at the clear sky that held no night. It was the new moon, and whatever protection light had at one time granted them was now gone.
A man huddled in an ally glanced around warily before relaxing when he was unable to sense anything nearby. His eyes were just beginning to drift shut when the small sliver of light from a window above vanished. The man's eyes snapped open, sucking in a panicked breath that would be his last.
The sound of teeth sinking through flesh was the only sound that could be heard in the ally as life was drained out of the man, several minutes passing before a figure cloaked in deep scarlet red stood and dropped the pale body to the ground.
"Foolish creatures. You should know by now that you can never see us coming." A deep male voice said in disgust, stepping backwards and into the small sliver of light that illuminated his paper white skin.
As silence once again took over the alley the creature raised his face to the sky, inhaling deeply. His appetite burned, his snack only just taking the edge off as it cried out for something more. Something none but one could provide.
"I can sense her, hidden in this place. I will find her!"
ANOTHER DEAD BY VAMPIRE!
There was a heavy sigh as a black haired young woman glanced over the headline at the top of a newspaper that her roommate had set in front of her.
"Another one dead?! What are these vampire hunters doing with their time?! It should not be this hard to catch one vampire for highly trained mages!" The black haired woman said, shoving the paper away from her.
"Mel, whoever this vampire is they are incredibly skilled. They're able to completely wipe their tracks from the hunters." A violet haired young woman said, finishing the braid that hung over her shoulder and snapping the elastic on.
"I know that it's hard Rhen, but there has to be something more they can do to help all the people out on the street. Five years ago that could have easily been me..." Mel said with a sigh, taking a drink of her coffee.
Her roommate and friend shot Mel a sympathetic look.
"It would be hard knowing that you at one point could have been living that. I wish they would do something for those poor people, even at least until the vampire is gone."
"But they won't, they never do bother for the "expendable ones"." Mel muttered, standing and setting her cup in the sink as she grabbed her jacket from the back of a chair and started for the door with a wave over her shoulder at Rhen who smiled before vanishing into her room to change.
Mel whistled as she jogged down the stairs, only slowing as she caught sight of a familiar brown eyed man climbing the steps.
"Hey Dameon!" She called, slowing to a halt in front of her roommates fiancé. "Whats up?"
Dameon smiled softly at her, smoothing his fingers over his jacket instinctively as he shrugged.
"Hello Mel. I'm just here to pick up Rhen to take her to her meeting so not much is up."
Mel nodded, glancing up the stairs at the edge of her and Rhen's door that she could just see before reaching into her pocket to pull out her house key and toss it to him as she began to head down the stairs.
"Here, she's getting ready so just let yourself in while you wait. Just make sure to stick the key on the table, I'll use the hidden spare to let myself in when I get home." Mel tossed over her shoulder, giving a teasing salute as she jogged to her car.
Quickly she was on her way, glancing up at the overcast sky above.
"Hope it doesn't rain today..." She muttered to herself, "I'd hate to miss the last day of the visiting fair."
When she finally pulled into the parking lot a grin flit across her face as she watched a figure at the front of the walkway leaping around. As she climbed out of her vehicle she could hear the sound of exuberant shouts, her name being the main subject of said reaction.
"I'm coming already, chill!" She shouted at her friend, locking the car behind her as she jogged across the parking lot to where he stood with Stella and Lydia.
"You know, telling Edward to "chill" when he's excited about something is rather like telling him not to breathe. It isn't going to happen." Lydia quipped, smirking slightly at her cousins outraged squawk.
"Lydia! Shut up!"
The three girls burst into laughter, Edwards gentle girlfriend Stella reaching over to gently pat his back.
"I'm sure you'll grow out of it one day." Was the soft tease, Mel nearly doubling over at the look of comical betrayal on his face as the four of them headed towards the fair enterance.
Once they had gotten in the four of them wandered down the isles, stopping at the game booths to take their turns throwing darts at balloons and playing the shoot and aim game.
"Hey, look it's a fortune tellers booth. We should check it out." Stella exclaimed softly, pointing at the tent draped with strings of beads along the entrance.
"No way! Those guys are just a bunch of rip offs, so real seer would ever travel with some fair or circus." Edward scoffed.
Stella let out a giggle and linked her arm though Edward's before grabbing a similarly unimpressed Mel by the arm.
"Oh come on, it'll still be fun. And it's only a few gold anyway."
They were dragged rather unwillingly into the incense filled tent with a smirking Lydia following behind. It took Mel a few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the smokey atmosphere before she took note of the woman dressed in loose flowing robes sitting before a low table. She looked up at them from under half lidded lids and smiled dreamily.
"Welcome to my abode, you wish for readings do you not?"
Stella nodded and took her seat before the table, pulling Edward down next to her before the woman who laughed softly at Edward's grumble.
"You are not a believer in my abilities, that is fine. You are a lovely individual for humouring your love anyway." She murmured before reaching forward to take one hand of Stella's and one of Edward's before closing her eyes. "You have a life of peace before you, there is success in your future and dreams that will come true. However I do sense a hidden pain in both of you, a remorse and guilt over some event. There is a missing place in each of your hearts, as if someone has left or passed on that was important."
With that the fortune teller opened her eyes and released their hands, Mel exchanging a roll of the eyes with Lydia at the slightly awed look on Stella's face.
"I felt the magic working through my system, you truly are one who can see snippets from the future!"
"Uh yeah, can we go now?!" Edward pleaded, clearly uncomfortable after the mention about guilt and loss.
"Oh but Mel hasn't had her turn, and you couldn't possibly deprive her of that." Lydia snickered, gesturing at Mel who had been trying to slip out of the tent unnoticed.
"No way do you get to get out of this, I did and now you have to." Edward announced, grabbing Mel and pushing her down in front of the table.
"Let's see what your future holds my dear."
"I'm good not knowing, thanks." Mel muttered, placing around as she considered how she could escape the situation.
The fortune teller laughed again before grabbing Mel's hands and pulling them into the middle of the table, effectively ending her ability to leave.
Seconds later she felt the tingle of magic crawling up her arms and enveloping her whole. She watched carefully at the fortune teller who closed her eyes and soundlessly mouthed something. Mel expected a similar tale to Edward and Stella, success and maybe some suffering, the usual.
She did not however expect for the Fortune Teller to let out a blood curdling scream and tumble backwards as all the magic shot out of Mel leaving her feeling cold and empty as she struggled to gain her bearings again.
"N-no! In all my years I have never seen- how is it even possible that you cannot feel the call!" The woman stuttered, eyes wide with fear and shock. "You are in such great danger, it can only be fate that brought you here! So close to losing everything, you have mere days to save yourself you must heed my warning!"
Mel scrambled to her feet, backing away as she gaped at the Fortune Teller.
"What the hell is wrong with you?! What danger, you're crazy!"
"You don't understand!" The woman shrieked hysterically, lurching around the table to grab Mel's shoulders. "He's coming for you, he's been chasing for so long and finally he's found your essence in the city!"
"Who- There's nothing you-"
Mel was cut off as the woman began to shake her wit a feverish desperation in her eyes.
"You have but days before it's too late, you must escape here and leave this town, before All Hallows Eve and the new moon when his power is at it's strongest or you will be sentenced to a fate worth then death!"
"LET ME GO!" Mel finally shouted, ripping free and shoving the woman away as she quickly backed into Edward and Stella.
Edward wrapped a protective arm around Mel and guided her towards the door of the tent, ignoring as the woman called after them.
"Please! You don't realize-"
She never heard the rest of what the crazy fortune teller had to say as they rushed from the tent, her voice becoming muffled and indistinct by the thick fabric of the tent.
"What was wrong with that woman?! She completely lost it in there!" Edward exclaimed to the group, arm tightening protectively around Mel when he glanced behind at the tent once again.
"I haven't got a clue, but that was freaking weird. I'm done for the day, I'm gonna go home early I think." Mel muttered, pulling free from her friend.
"We understand, gave a good rest of your day." Lydia said, unusually curtious as she reached over and rubbed her shoulder as she walked past.
"I'm really sorry, if I hadn't suggested..." Tears filled Stella's eyes and despite Mel's current mood she reached forward to awkwardly hug the girl.
"It's fine Stella, you didn't know. Catch you guys later." Mel dismissed gruffly before starting back towards the fair entrance.
What an experience, why did this kind of crap always happen for her?!
Whistling under her breath Mel strolled through the marketplace, glancing different ingredients as she passed. Chatter echoed through the market stalls and she let out a relaxed breath, enjoying the peace of the early morning.
"GODDESS HELP US!" The frightened shriek filled the market and all over people paused to turn towards a nearby alley, a panicked man racing out and nearly falling flat on his face as he abruptly came to a halt.
"The vampire got another one! And this time there's a message!"
Shocked and horrified cries filled the air and Mel felt her eyes widen, her legs carrying her along with the small crowd that rushed to the front of the alley.
A man dead, drained of all blood and slumped against the wall. That in and of itself was not nearly shocking for Mel, she had seen her own fair share of passed on homeless from her time on the streets.
She was not however prepared for what covered the wall above. It was like something out of one of Lydia's horror novels, slanted words painted in scarlet red across the wall. The sickly smell of blood reached Mel's nose and she gagged, stumbling backwards and out of the crowd before pushing away as she gulped in fresh air.
The scent had been so cloying...yet something in the back of her mind felt as thought it was stirring. Something akane to...excitement fluttered before dying out as Mel waited for the rolling nausea to fade.
She glanced back at the alley, thinking of the message painted on the wall and shuddered. Something had changed, this vampire wasn't randomly feeding.
After all, only someone with a purpose would paint the words "I'm coming" across the wall above their kill.
The sound of crackling magic in the duelling rooms was a sign of a battle underway, two students training intensely as they sparred with their magic.
Mel danced sideways with her staff at the ready, watching Lydia warily as the green haired Mage girl blasted her with another spell. Quickly Mel raised a sheild to deflect, grinning when the spell spiralled harmlessly away from her.
"Good block, but you'll have to do better then that Darkthrop." Lydia said with a haughty smirk.
"I'd get off that high horse if I were you, I'd hate to see the damage you'll take when I win this match." Mel bantered back, grinning as Lydia's laugh.
It was enjoyable, sparring like this. Lydia presented a huge challenge to her skill wise making their matches about even with wins and losses. It drove Mel to learn more and that was exactly what she needed so close to graduation from the school of War and Magic.
Lydia raised her staff once again, preparing her next spell and Mel readied her shield again.
Then it happened, it was like a lightning strike that pierced through every magical barrier she had up right into her mind. A howl of pain sounded, Mel only just registering that the sound belonged to her as she tripped forward and landed on all fours.
Shouts of her name sounded around her, her unseeing eyes not moving from where she was staring straight ahead as her body shook. It was dark magic, so much deeper and more evil then anything she had ever felt in her life radiating out from a blast far away. She could feel it in her bones, making her limbs feel like jelly.
"Mel! What's wrong?!" The voice was closer now and she felt her mind relax as the magic faded, allowing Mel to turn slightly to see Lydia kneeling next to her with several teachers surrounding her.
"That dark magic, something's happened." Mel croaked, one of the professors looking out the window in alarm before sprinting from the room.
"Dark magic? What are you talking about? I never used any dark magic!" Lydia protested.
Mel shook her head as she pushed herself to sit back, rubbing her face as she tried to focus.
"Not you, something out there. I don't know what happened, but I felt it. So powerful..."
"Mel can you stand? We have a Professor Toledo is going now to see what's going on." One of her professors asked, Mel nodding and shrugging off the hands that reached to her as she slowly stood to her feet.
After a moment of gaining her bearings Mel made her way over to the couch, dropping down heavily as she muttered about having really awful luck to herself. The universe owed her roast rat and all the chocolate they could find, it was only fair after the streak of rotten events that had hit her this week so far.
"Well that was certainly a way to concede defeat to me." Lydia finally quipped, Mel snorting and rolling her eyes.
The professors were gathered by the door talking in a low tone with occasional glances back at Mel, although they said nothing to her. She exchanged looks with Lydia who had gracefully seated herself next to Mel as they waited, both of them picking up on the sound of running feet through the halls towards them as they waited.
Suddenly Professor Toledo burst through the door, pale faced and panting.
"They somehow fracked the vampire and cornered him in the south side near the forest, the hunters had gotten so close to getting him. That blast of magic was him getting fre and escaping, he levelled two small buildings and every single last one of the hunters that had closed in on him are dead. Vaporized on the spot. The ones that had held back to monitor the situation say they've never seen such dark magic used before, and on that scale of power." He blurted out, clearly relaying everything he knew.
All the professors turned at once to face Mel, faces concerned as Professor Gastor who had been overseeing the training match took a step towards her.
"That would explain why none of us felt it, even that level of powerful magic would have been cloaked from our senses the way all magic used by supernatural beings is." His eyes narrowed slightly then in thought as he studied her. "Which begs the question of how Mel was able to sense it, and why it impacted her so powerfully."
Mel hooked her legs on the bar across the bottom of her chair as she waited at a local cafe for Rhen. A half eaten cinnamon bun sat before her that she absently picked at, waiting in the fading light until they could get their groceries and head home for a late dinner.
Said black haired female looked up to see her friend rushing towards her slightly out of breath, sliding onto the chair across from her with a smile.
"You look happy, did you and Dameon get more wedding planning done?" Mel enquires curiously, Rhen's face lighting up.
"We did! Dameon loved the dresses I found for the bridal party, he thought they were so pretty and flattering." Her purple eyed friend exclaimed, reaching into her bag to withdraw some magazine clippings. "What do you think of this! Each person can choose from these three styles and they all will be this lilac colour."
Mel accepted the clippings to study them, smiling at the flattering cut.
"These are perfect Rhen, they'll suit everyone in the bridal party."
"Right? Let me know which one you prefer and since I already have your measurements I'll put the order in tomorrow. Oh and-..."
Rhen's voice faded into the background for Mel as suddenly she felt what could only be discribed as the sensation of the tempature around her dropping and a full body chill washed over.
Mel had never truly understood the term of feeling someone watching her, but as the hairs on the back of her neck stood up Mel could feel eyes burning into her back with such a malevolent intent.
She let out a ragged gasp and whirled, eyes wide as she scanned the streets around her for someone, anyone, that could possibly be the cause of this. Yet she saw no one, no one so much as glanced at the two young woman as they hurried through the streets on their way to their homes.
"...what are you looking for?"
The slightly louder voice of Rhen jerked Mel's attention away from her surroundings and she turned back to her concerned looking roommate with a slight shake of her head.
"Mel, what's going on? You've been acting strange for the last couple of days, even Dameon's noticed and he's seen you for all of maybe ten minutes in total over the last bit." Rhen prodded, leaning forward on the table to study Mel.
She exhaled a long side, absently smoothing her fingers over the side of her hair ribbon as she contemplated how to answer.
"Some really strange things have been happening, little things that set my nerves on end and just a moment ago I could have sworn I could feel someone watching me." Mel said haltingly.
"Strange things? Like what?" Rhen prodded, Mel taking a deep breath before explaining what had happened at the circus before going over the different events.
Rhen listened intently to Mel's explanation, eyes widening when she had explained about feeling the magic from the fleeing vampire. When she finally finished Rhen nodded slowly, a contemplative look flickering over her features.
"Mel...have you ever considered that maybe that fortune teller may not have been all crazy" Quickly her roommate held up a hand to stop the protests that were rising on Mel's lips. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying she's all right. But you know as well as I do that in our world coincidences like this don't just happen. You mentioned a pull, so did she, and the way this is all adding up together...I don't know but something feels off about this too me. Maybe consider talking to Dameon about what it could all mean?"
Mel reluctantly nodded, glancing away from Rhen's worried look as she grabbed her stuff and slid off her seat.
"Let's head home, I want to eat and watch a movie tonight I think."
Rhen nodded, the two girls strolling back towards their home.
Neither of them saw the glowing red eyes in the shadows fixed on Mel, a feral grin bared at her retreating back.
"You're mine now, lamb."
Cloud swirled around Mel, drifting softly along her skin as she drifted along on a pleasant cloud of nothing. Peace washed over her and she basked in that, her brain only just registering that sense of calm in the midst of her sleep.
The came the darkness, washing over her and holding her immobile. Layers of magic seeped into her mind, her consciousness struggling against the pull of sleep that tried to tug her under.
A chill washed over the room before what felt like velvet ice touched down on her, settling on the inside of her wrist before drifting slowly up her arm and over her shoulders to settle on her neck. Panic throbbed through her, Mel unable to truly wake or open her eyes to confront the situation. A part of her fought, terrified of what felt very much real. But another part of her pulled Mel deeper down with an unrelenting grasp into the blissful nothing of sleep, promising dreams if she simply gave in.
No. Mel struggled within her own head as she fought the unknown enchantment.
She struggled, her mind forcing it's way through what felt like mud with the way it dragged her ability to think and process. The struggle felt as though it was overwhelming her, and Mel was so close to giving in and believing it was a dream she was feeling.
Then came the heat, blazing in her neck before rapidly travelling through her veins. It was as though her blood had been set ablaze, her body feeling no pain as everything in her ignited and her body instinctively surged up with the call of the fire inside.
The Fire seared through the spells holding her mind down and she rapidly began to take control of her body once again, a scream ripping from her lips as she flailed out against the strong hands holding her shoulders down. Sleep still weighted her down like led weights but it could not contain her power, raw magic blasting out from her and erasing the pressure on her shoulders as she felt what only could be described as being cut from the inside of her neck.
Awareness came to Mel in a flood and she bolted upright with a terrified and choked gasp. Her eyes darted around wildly seeing nothing in her room from the dim moonlight that provided dull illumination, but she could feel them. She could feel the emotions and the power, heavy and oppressive with bloodlust that filled every crevice of the room, and she could hear the sound of breathing.
"Mel!" Rhen's muffled shout of alarm could be heard within Mel's bedroom as thumping footsteps raced towards her room.
Desperation flooded her and without thought for consequence she lunged for the door to her bedroom, feeling a gust of air pass over her left side as the presence suddenly faded as if flying right out her open window.
Her bedroom door was flung open with an explosive bang, Mel nearly falling into Rhen as her roommate slapped the light on and caught Mel by her shoulders with a look of alarm.
"Mel, what happened?! I heard you scream!" Her friend demanded, her purple hair tangled and sticking up all over from bedhead.
"I-I don't know!" Mel hissed out, feeling herself shaking.
Rhen looked her over for signs of harm, glancing just below her ear before going wide eyed.
Mel reached a hand up to touch where Rhen was looking, gasping when her fingers touched a warm wetness. She wrenched away from her friend, scrambling to the mirror on her wall to stare in mute horror as she pulled her fingers away to reveal two small holes on the side of her neck sluggishly trickling blood.
"What in the name of all things sacred." She breathed, her eyes meeting Rhen's who had come up to stand behind her.
"Great goddess! Mel, they're going away!"
They were indeed going away, the two holes suddenly beginning to shrink on the side of her neck before fading into nothing more then twin pinprick scars then vanishing altogether.
Her hands shook as she stared at the wound and she stared silently at Rhen for a moment, the two of them coming to a mutual agreement without having to speak a word.
"I'll call Dameon right now." Rhen stated, starting for the door with Mel right behind her.
"I think this situation calls for coco. I'll make it while you call. It's the closest I can get to a drinking myself into oblivion after what just happened."
It hadn't even taken Rhen a full sentence before Dameon was coming over, ten minutes all it took for the Mage to go from dead asleep to walking into their apartment flat and heading straight to Mel.
"Let me see your neck."
Mel obediently tilted her head and touched where the two holes had been, feeling Dameon probing her skin and deeper with magic.
"I don't understand this, there is absolutely no sign of where you were bitten. But I can feel something different in you, as if something in your essence has shifted. Yet you've come to no harm, I can't sense anything wrong with you." Dameon said, sounding utterly baffled.
The sun priest moved back, settling himself down on the loveseat next to Rhen who was sorting through history books and old transcripts of records about supernatural creatures. She was compiling a list of all the magical beings that could have bitten her and restrained her mind with magic, yet not killed her with their natural venom.
"Explain again what you felt with what we figure was the moment of the bite?" Rhen asked, looking up quickly to watch Mel.
She hesitated before explaining once again the fiery feeling that had taken over her system and the strange reaction she had to it before falling silent.
"Well I have several different possibilities to why that happened, one is that you were just bitten by a pixie. When they are going into people's homes for little magical artifacts they can sometimes be drawn to the pulsing magic of a Mage, especially one who possesses different magic kind then themselves. If trapped or alarmed they will bite and it will result in a bezerking spell being transferred via the bloodstream." Rhen explained, double checking her notes as she talked.
Despite the tension of the situation Mel couldn't help but smile at the mushy look on Dameon's face. Generally his lilac haired fiancée avoided reading a research since it held little appeal to the sword singer but when given a problem she wanted to solve she was certainly capable of achieving that goal and it was clear that Dameon was utterly charmed by this rarely seen side.
"Another one is that you were bitten by a magical beetle, however unless the bug was at end of life there should be traces of venom still in your blood. And if it was end of life the carcass would still be there."
"Yes, both of those are a possibility I guess but neither of them explain the presence I felt afterwards." Mel pointed out.
Rhen nodded reluctantly, exchanging a look with the suddenly serious Dameon before letting out a sigh.
"I know, which brings me to my last result. I didn't want to bring this one up since it's nothing more then legend but it's the only other thing I could find on the topic. The final creature that matches this is a vampire." Mel opened her mouth to point out the impossibility but she was cut off as Rhen reached under the pile to pull out a thick book and open it to the marked page
"I know it seems unlikely with your bites Healing and the fact that you're still alive but hear me out. When I was looking through I found this small passage that I remember reading months ago for a school report. According to these records of legends there was once humans who were involved with vampires that were fed upon, yet never were turned or killed like other victims. Some marked as immortal, seen by those living with these humans with bite wounds on their neck that would heal themselves as if never having existed."
Mel stared at Rhen, reaching up absently to brush her fingers over her neck.
"How is that possible though? That goes against everything we have ever seen of the species." Mel said quietly.
"That is true, however when we think about it how little do we know of their kind? A society hidden from our sight, there is most likely countless secrets they have held." Dameon pointed out softly. "And I can offer the explanation of their existence if they're legends do somehow hold truth. These humans are said to be incredibly rare, according to the legends their existence is only birthed by the necessity of the existence of an incredibly powerful vampire. The more powerful the vampire the more they need to feed, and eventually even blood is not enough to sustain them. They require blood that holds a high quantity of magic essence, and that magic must directly compliment their own. If they go without this highly specialized blood, they will in time die."
Mel was beginning to understand where they were going with this and she shrunk in her chair, hands clenching into fists in her lap.
"These humans are born with the fate of being tied to one of these powerful vampires. Upon being found and bitten their life force is tied to that of the vampires, cursed to walk alongside the vampires for their immortal life. These humans are known in the legends as Blood Brides, a title that applies to both male and female. That fiery feeling would have come from the mixing of magics during the bite and the feeling of your blood being drained while simultaneously replaced by your system in accordance to the magical situation between Blood Bride and Vampire" Rhen finally finished, setting aside the books.
"Well that's all good an interesting, but it's a complete impossibility! Blood Brides? Magic blood to sustain vampires? If this is real why have there been no recorded happenings of this taking place, and why would it take such a powerful creature this long to find me?!" Mel snapped, fear and nerves coming out in her biting tone.
"Mel, we aren't saying this is what's happening. Like you said, this is just legend but even you have to admit that everything recorded here lines up to what happened tonight..." Dameon said, quickly intervening to calm the situation.
"I don't care, that legend most likely came into being during the vampire wars when they were searching for anything and everything to indicate ties to the vampires. You know as well as I do that hundreds upon hundreds of humans died after accusations of being sympathetic and in aid of the vampire cause, Blood Brides would have been just another perfect excuse to get rid of "threats to the humans cause"." Mel scoffed, arms crossed defensively over her chest. "It was probably a dark pixie, there's no other logical explanation."
After a moment of hesitation Rhen nodded in agreement, pushing aside her research.
"You're probably right. Well at least we found a reason, now we'll just have to ward your room against pixies so it doesn't happen again." Her roommate said, Mel nodding and leaning her head back with a sigh.
Dameon and Rhen across the way fell into quiet conversation them, leaving the dark Mage to her own thoughts. Anxiety swirled through her as she stared at the living room ceiling above her.
She was good at faking confidence in her conclusion, verbally dismissing Rhen's other research. But even as she tried to ignore it, a traitorous part of her mind reminded her of what the Fortune Teller had said, and of the events that had happened around her. If Mel was honest, she wasn't entirely positive it had been a pixie. But she couldn't acknowledge the other possibility, it was far to terrifying to even consider.
It didn't matter, what happened couldn't have been something else, it was impossible.
Laughter filled a cozy house several blocks away from Mel's shared apartment as four friends gathered around a board game. Tomorrow was All Hallows' eve which meant that school and work were cancelled due to the significance of the holiday for any mages that use some form of dark magic and they had decided that a wonderful way to ring in the holiday would be to stay up as lasted as possible playing boardgames.
Mel grinned as Stella took one of Edward's pieces out with a little giggle, reaching over to steal a handful of chips from the bowl in front of Lydia.
"Hands out Darkthrop, these belong to me." Lydia snapped, pulling to bowl into her arms protectively.
Mel smirked and made a show of munching on the handful of goodies in her hand as Edward let out a loud sound of protest before arguing the legitimacy of the move.
"Oh stop complaining Edward, just accept the fact that your girlfriend has a better strategy then you and come help me get drinks." Mel mocked, getting to her feet with a sulking Edward behind her as Stella and Lydia burst into laughter.
"I still say she miscounted somewhere. There is no way I should have lost that piece so easily." He muttered sullenly, Mel patting his shoulder with a snort as she headed to the cupboard with the glasses.
"Keep telling yourself that Edward. Can you grab the bottle from the cupboard?"
Standing on her toes Mel reached up to grab the glasses off the shelf, only to on the last glass lose her grip. She swore as it fell from her fingers and smashed all over the counter in front of her. She moved to yank her other hand back but was too slow as one of the glass pieces pierced her hand, blood welling to the surface.
"You alright?" Edward instantly asked, quickly coming over to her side.
"I'm fine, but that hurt like hell." She muttered, glaring down at her wounded hand.
"You're bleeding pretty good, we should get the glass out." Edward said, reaching out and pulling the glass free in time to Mel's hissed curse at the feeling.
He set aside the glass and pulled her hand under the tap, turning on the cool water and watching as it rinsed off her hand.
"Let's see how bad it is, the glass looked surprisingly deep into your hand." He pointed out, Mel silent as he pulled her hand out and went to gently use his thumb to move the skin around her cut ever so slightly.
It was magic, that was for certain, but Mel had never seen anything of the like before in her life. Just as Edward set his thumb down, more blood had beaded to the surface and touched him. The sizzling as the magic in her veins suddenly sparked beneath her skin made both Mel and Edward flinch before he had suddenly let out a pained shout, ripping his hand away as if she had burned him, and then when she saw his thumb it became clear that was exactly what had happened.
"What's going on?!"
Stella and Lydia burst into the kitchen as Edward shoved his hands under the cold water, Mel flinching back with her hand held to her chest as she watched the water cascade over the magical burn.
"Her blood, it burned me!" Edward exclaimed, Lydia grabbing Edward's wrist to jerk his hand out of water.
Clear as day anyone could see the small burn, black webbing across the damaged skin shifting and moving to form patterns and runes before fading into something new.
"This is the result of a dark magic attack." Lydia reported, both Stella and Edward turning to gape at Mel.
"What?! But I-I never-"
"I know it wasn't you Mel, this is...different." Lydia said, her voice shaking ever so slightly. "This isn't just any magic, this is far far more powerful. They call it black magic, dark magic used to work spells through the blood of a being in Aia. It was forbade centuries ago which is why it's called black magic, there aren't even records existing on how to use it anymore. The only records of use since it was forbidden was by vampires during the war, how in all Aia is it connected to you?!"
Used by vampires, a vampire skill that no other kind had been recorded using.
Mel felt her face go white as she stared in absolute horror at Lydia.
"Only vampires?!" She whimpered, her friends reaching out towards her as she staggered backwards.
Reality slammed into her like a train, everything that had happened coming together to form a picture that made her stomach roll.
"The fortune teller was right, Rhen was right with her research about Blood Brides. I need to get out of here." She babbled, bolting for the door.
"Mel! Wait! What are you talking about, where are you going?!" Stella cried, trying to stop Mel who only jerked her arm free and grabbed her purse as she headed out the door.
"I have to leave before All Hallows' Eve Stella, I'm sorry."
Mel had never peeled away from a curb so fast as she stomped on the gas. She still had several hours, which meant that she had just enough time to grab a few necessities from her apartment and get Rhen to leave and go stay with Dameon where she would be safe.
When she reached her house and had gotten to the door she didn't even bother knocking to give Rhen a chance to react as she fumbled her key into the door to unlock and let herself in.
"Rhen! RHEN!" She shouted as she hurried down the halls towards her own room.
"Mel?! What's going on?"
"Go get yourself a bag and pack what you need for an overnight stay, we need to get out of here in the next ten minutes so I can get you to Dameon and then get myself the hell out of this town before midnight." Mel ordered, her hands shaking like a leaf.
"You were right Rhen, about the vampire thing. My blood burned Edward, Lydia said it's been changed by black magic. Get your things and meet me down at my car now." Mel snarled, cutting her off as she ran into her room and shoved her most important things into a old duffle bag.
As she strode through the hall towards the door she could hear Rhen hurriedly packing in her room and Mel blinked back tears as she took the outside stairs two at a time to get down to her car.
"I can do this, I can get out of the city before it's too late." She murmured to herself as she opened her trunk.
Carefully Mel slid her bag into her trunk, movements suddenly beginning to slow as in her chest she began to feel the strangest sensation. A warming and fluttering, the sensation making Mel brace herself against the lip of the trunk as she pressed her hand over her heart.
Deep inside her magic flared, power coiling through her as if in reply to an unspoken order and Mel's eyes widened, glowing swirls moved beneath her skin as her magic reacted and strained to break free.
"No..." She whispered, feeling a pulling at the very core of her being that drew her towards the sparse grove of trees just behind their apartment building.
She stumbled back from her trunk, desperation fuelling her as she lunged for the drivers door of her car. She could feel the oppressive magic swirling through the clearing, leaves swirling off the ground and whipping around the outside parkade and she knew what was coming.
Mel wrenched her door open, but never got any further then that as a sensation far more terrifying then even the magic in the clearing could be felt. There was a gust of wind over her from in front and she staggered back as the world misted over.
"You thought to escape did you?" A deep voice murmured, a hulking figure shrouded in darkness standing before her.
Mel dragged in a gasp, fear stealing her voice as she felt the edges of her vision begin to darken. She felt the magic pulling her under, a single tear leaking out of the corner of her eye as she collapsed into a pair of waiting arms that lifted her off the ground to hold her to a hard chest. As the world around her began to fade she heard but one more statement before the world around her ceased to exist within her consciousness.
"Oh little lamb, you are far too late"
Rhen hurried down the stairs with her bag over her shoulders, phone to her ear as she called Dameon. She knew he would understand what was happening and be able to tell her what to do, tell her what was needed to help Mel.
"So she's fleeing in fear of being caught by the vampire?! Do you really think that she's a Blood bride?!" Dameon asked, voice baffled and concerned.
Rhen reached the ground in record time and ran through the parkade to where Mel's car was sitting.
"I don't know! She just-..."
"Rhen? Rhen what's wrong?"
The lilac haired young woman stared at the car with dread, the trunk open and bag still partially caught on the lip of the trunk. Driver door hanging open and a few quick steps to that side of the car also revealed the keys lying on the ground.
"Oh goddess..." She breathed, the subtle feel of magic coming from the drivers seat making her peer inside to see something lying on the seat.
Carefully she pulled the door fully open to allow moonlight to illuminate the seat, revealing a black rose with blood dripped over the silken petals.
"Rhen?!" Dameon shouted into the phone, panicked by her sudden silence.
Tears filled her eyes as she stood staring at the flower in the seat.
"It's too late Dameon. We're too late, she's gone."
The first breath in was so cold it burned, Mel's lungs protesting slightly against the unusually clean and fresh air.
Her eyes fluttered slightly, as she slowly returned to herself and opened bleary eyes. Almost instantly the events of earlier hit her and she whipped her head up to stare around her as she tried to gather her wits to evaluate the situation. She tried to move but found her muscles not holding, Mel slumping back down onto the stone slab that was attached to the wall behind her.
As she waited for her body to recover she did a quick scan of the room, her observations showing her stone walls and a black chandler hanging from the vaulted ceilings that lit the room with an eery glow. Other then that lighting the circular room was completely empty. Then her eyes landed on a window across the way that was complete open, hope leaping in her chest that perhaps she had been left hear by someone who didn't anticipate her waking when she did.
"Come on Mel..." She breathed to herself, pushing upright and sighing in relief when her body obeyed and held her upright.
Carefully she rose to her feet, the sensation of the cold floor against her feet making her flinch and look down only to gasp at the sight of what she wore. No longer was she dressed in her usual pants and vest, rather a loose and flowing black dress that rippled in the breeze coming in the window causing the hem to brush against her ankles.
Carefully she moved across the floor to the window, grasping the ledge and leaning out eagerly to see what laid below only to gasp at the dizzying drop revealed to her. Mel jerked herself back and glanced around her surroundings in shock, unbelieving of the sprawling forests surrounding her as far as the eyes could see.
"Where am I?" She breathed, unable to tear her eyes away from the view.
"You, my dear, are in my home."
A strangled gasp escaped Mel and she whirled, eyes widening as she took in the imposing figure several feet away from her.
Tall with broad shoulders and cloaked in a deep red, paper white skin directly contrasting the black strands that fell loosely along his angular features from the ponytail at the base of his neck. Her frightened blue eyes snapped up to meet scarlet ones and he smirked slightly, taking a step closer.
"You seem so shocked to see me, I truly thought you were smarter then that. I know you figured it out, I heard everything you said to that pretty little roommate of yours."
Mel stared at the vampire before her, the fear in her so overloading her senses that she felt a sense of numbness beginning to set in.
"The Blood bride legend." Fell from her lips without her consent, unable to look away from his piercing gaze.
"Legend? Oh no lamb, that is no legend. But I think you already have realized that, haven't you?" He purred, eyes glittering with darkness and heat.
Mel's heart raced, her pulse pounding in her ears as she slid sideways and began to edge along the wall away from the vampire before her.
"I'm not a Blood bride, you've made a mistake." She forced out, her mouth dry.
The vampire chuckled, licking his fangs very deliberately as he began to prowl towards her.
"Trust me darling, I have made no mistake. Even as we speak you already beginning to feel the results of our connection, you can feel the very blood in your veins heating and rushing through you. My magic runs through you now, it is calling to me just as is the scent of your blood and you can feel it."
Mel shook her head violently, denying his claim even as she felt her magic swell like a tidal wave inside. Ribbons of light rose out of her, dancing through the air as the vampire raised a hand. Red tendrils of magic nearly blasted free of his palm, racing for her own magic and twining around it. She felt the magic bleed together in every part of her magic, a cry of shock escaping her.
"W-what have you done?!" She choked out, grabbing onto the wall to hold herself upright.
"I have marked what is mine, the supernatural world can never mistake your for anything other then the Blood Bride of the great Lord of Twilight." The vampire Mage murmured, a look of dark satisfaction flitting across his cold features.
"I'm not yours." Mel spat, shoving herself off the wall as she glared at the vampire lord with fury in her gaze. "I will never belong to you, I'd rather die!"
No sooner had the words had left her mouth she lunged for the window, desperation driving her. She would never allow herself to be trapped eternally in the home of a being who fed upon her kind, and he had made a decision that would cost him his precious blood bride by holding her in this room.
Her fingers had just brushed against the window ledge when an arm grabbed her and ripped her right out of the air. She slammed backwards into a hard chest, cursing as he wrapped one long arm around her from behind and trapped both arms against her sides, holding her immobile.
"You have been mine from the moment I fed off of you that night in your apartment." He hissed, icy breath washing washing over her ear. "You will always belong to me, you were destined to belong to me from the moment you were born. You shall live your eternity alongside me, there will be no escape after I finish the bonding ritual by feeding that will tie us together for the rest of our immortal lives."
"N-no! I won't let you do this! HELP!" The panicked screams echoed futility around the chamber and the Lord of Twilight laughed cruelly.
"No one will come for you, there is no one that can save you." Was the silky purr in reply to her call. "And it won't be long before you won't want saving, even one such as you cannot resist the call anymore then I was able to."
Mel knew he was right, she had started to feel it from the moment he had pulled her too him. Her struggles slowed as lethargy settled over her and her head lolled sideways, resting against the shoulder of the vampire at her back.
"I'll make you pay for this, I promise."
Her half hearted words were met with a chuckle that vibrated against her skin, cold lips touching on the pulse under her ear before dragging down her neck.
"You can try, I welcome your attempts." He whispered.
Mel watched through half lidded eyes out the window, taking in the moon high in the sky. All that time the fortune teller had been right, had she only listened...
But it was too late now, she felt lips still on her neck right above where the bite mark had been that night. Then fangs pierced her skin and Mel jerked in his hold, crying out in shock at what felt like raging fire in her veins.
It was too late now, she hadn't left in time to escape before All Hallows' Eve and now she was fulfilling her fortune of fear.