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The Heartless Hybrid Queen

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Summary

Aurora: My mother raised me in secret; her hidden hybrid princess. Until her past caught up to her, I think she knew they were coming for her. They had no knowledge of me, and she did everything she could to keep it that way. She cast a spell on me to bind my magic until my wolf awakens when I turn eighteen. She altered my appearance to look more human. Then she left. I was eleven. She wanted me to live a life free from the violence of where she came from, but my life has been a whirlwind of one violent situation after the next. She gave me what I needed to survive, but the empire she left me in had other plans for me. Now I’m a prisoner, surrounded by enemies who could easily kill me before I’m strong enough to save myself. Samael: My life has been four hundred years of blood, politics, and court meetings. Fifty-seven years ago, I was crowned the Dema King of the vampires. Now my family, my court, the coven leaders, they’re all pushing me to take a chosen queen. Someone pushed on me for political gain. I doubt some political elites sheltered and docile daughter would have the stomach do the things it takes to rule a vampire kingdom. The Dema Queen will take the throne beside me because it is her right to be there. I refuse to let a pawn occupy my queen’s seat.

Genre:
Fantasy / Romance
Author:
Rebekah Rose
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
26
Rating:
4.7 7 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1 - Aurora

Aurora’s POV

I wake up to the familiar pain of a spring digging into my back. Goddess, this cot is unbearable. How I am able to fall asleep every night is beyond me.

I groan as I sit up, stretching my back and arms, trying to ease the pain. After a couple of satisfying cracks, it feels a bit better. I shiver and watch as my breath rises above me in this bitter dungeon cell.

Living the same day every day has been exhausting.

I always wake up too early. It’ll be a while before they bring around breakfast. It’s not much to look forward to, but it keeps me alive.

Then I’ll probably do some pacing.

Contemplate every life choice I ever made that ended up with me in here.

I’ll curse myself a bit for being so careless as to get arrested in the first place.

Then, to calm myself down, I’ll remind myself that I’m getting out of here soon. I have an escape plan; I just have to wait until my birthday to put it in motion.

After my internal mental breakdown, my day will be spent sitting cross-legged in the center of my cot, planning every little detail of my life for when I get out of here. I have a list. And I am so excited to cross off every person on it.

Eventually, a measly dinner will be delivered, I’ll inhale it like always, then be led out to the bathroom.

Then, straight back to my cell and lights out.

But my least favourite part is the ice-cold shower I’m allowed once a week. It really jolts my body into shock in this already freezing dungeon.

It’s always nice to be a little clean though, even if I can’t feel my extremities.

Aside from death, life in the dungeons is considered the worst possible punishment in the entire Empire.

I scoff at the thought. Whoever said that never lived through this. Death would be more merciful.

I sigh as I start some stretches. I have to get my body moving in the mornings or I’ll have a deep chill in my bones all day.

As always, my thoughts start to race.

It’s been so long. My seventeenth birthday was only weeks away when I was arrested. I tried to keep track of the days after I was sent here, but it was difficult. They all morphed into one long, cold, dark night.

I repeat the same words to myself as I always do: “when you’re 18, your wolf will reveal herself to you and your magic will be unlocked, you’ll be strong enough to survive, but until then, please stay safe… and blend in.”

I try not to hear my mother’s voice in my head, but I have to repeat the words to myself, without them I would lose my strength to go on. I just have to wait. Soon I’ll be strong enough to get myself out of here.

***

Dinner tonight is the usual unsatisfying and disappointing broth, accompanied by a small roll, and a glass of tepid water. I inhale it all desperately, my shriveled stomach begging for more.

Not long after, I’m escorted to the toilets. The guards give me the decency of going after all the male inmates, but they still watch me, two of them, holding their weapons and glaring at me, always making the experience a dreaded one.

After being rudely shoved back into my cell, I curl up on my dreadful cot and try to relax myself into sleep. Eventually, I can feel myself starting to drift off, until my ears pick up some distant sounds.

I never hear anything down here, except the muttering of some nearby prisoners or the languid footsteps of the guards doing their rounds. I sit up quickly, straining to hear more.

It sounds like the deep voice of a man yelling instructions, and it’s getting closer. I hear the heavy doors get thrown open, and light floods into the dungeon, cutting through the dreary atmosphere.

There’s the buzz of conversations among the new arrivals.

A deep voice booms out, “Alright, shut up and get to work!”

The chatter ceases immediately, and I hear multiple heavy footsteps coming toward the cells.

What the fuck is happening?

I wait, not-so-patiently, sitting stiff on my cot, jiggling my leg in a nervous habit. I can hear the men opening the cell doors around me and taking out the prisoners, some of them try to fight or scream for help, but it doesn’t sound like it has any effect.

One of the men appears in front of my cell, he opens it and steps right in.

Huh?

It wasn’t locked. I try to think back on if the guards locked my cell after escorting me back earlier, but I can’t remember.

Well, shit.

He walks towards me, towering over me with his huge, muscular frame and fanged smirk.

I draw back, then do a double take.

Wait.

Fanged smirk.

Vampires.

Crap.

Even with my magic and my wolf, getting away from vampires is going to be a lot more difficult than just breaking out of this dungeon.

I make a quick decision to cooperate. Maybe if I get on their good side, I can find an easier way to break free.

They must be raiding this place for our blood, or maybe the emperor let them in to have their pick. Either way, there’s not much I can do about it. I’m still about as weak as a human.

I stand abruptly and hold my hands up in a surrender. The vampires smirk grows wider, but he doesn’t say a word, just motions for me to follow him, which I reluctantly do.

Outside my cell, I see about half a dozen vampires leading the weary prisoners into a single file line.

No chains, no cuffs, just the fear of the vampires keeping the prisoners in check.
I fall in line, avoiding eye contact with any of the vampires so as not to draw attention to myself. But since I’m the only female prisoner, naturally, all eyes flicker to me for a moment. Thankfully, the vampires move on quickly, but the prisoners in front of me send glances my way, their eyes hardly concealing the sadist desires they possess.

More screams sound behind me, and I resist the urge to turn around. I feel the presence of more prisoners joining the line after me, the sounds of fear from them causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand at attention.

I can sense something about to happen and step slightly to the side, right before the chaos starts.

I feel a rush of wind pass me, then hear an ear-splitting scream of complete terror followed by the sound of someone being shoved against the metal bars of one of the cells.

My head whips itself in the direction of the commotion. It looks like one of the prisoners had attempted to run and is now pinned against a cell with a vampire’s fangs embedded deep in his neck.

I grimace, hoping they are not literally just killing us right here, right now.

Then I hear an audible sigh to my left. I turn my head slightly, noticing that it came from the same vampire who escorted me out of my cell.

He is glaring over at the vampire who is drinking his fill.

“Everett, we don’t have time for this.” He sighs out with a heavy exhale. “We have a long trip back to Mortem so how about a little professionalism, hm?”

I freeze at his words. Mortem. As in Dema Mortem? These are not random vampires abducting humans at all. They were sent straight from the Vampire King himself.

Why would the vampire king take prisoners form the Emberi Empire?

I am distracted from my racing thoughts by the nauseating sound of the vampire, Everett, removing his fangs from the trembling prisoner.

He lets out a jubilant exhale and a chuckle. “There’s always a few who think they can run.” He replies with a blood-stained grin.

The vampire to my left rubs his face in his hands and shoots Everett an annoyed glare. “Right. Just go. Go out and wait with the damn horses.”

Everett shrugs and brings the now trembling and blood-soaked prisoner to the back of the line, then saunters out. I turn my head just in time to avoid his gaze and situate myself back in the line of prisoners. All of whom are trembling with fear.

My heart feels like it is in my throat. I feel myself begin to panic internally; Dema Mortem is said to be a fortress. A huge kingdom built within the northernmost mountains.

It is apparently impenetrable and has never been breached in over a hundred thousand years.

I try to calm myself down quietly. Slow, deep breathes, come on. Just breathe.

No matter what, no matter where I end up, as soon as I turn eighteen my magic and my wolf will help me, whatever it takes. I will live and be free. I will never be a prisoner again and my plans for revenge will continue to be what get me through each day. If I have to add a few vampires to the list – well, so be it.

I keep my eyes straight ahead but make sure to keep as many vampires as I can in my periphery.

They are just standing, spaced out at different intervals along the long line of prisoners. Most of them look bored, but some are looking at the prisoners with hardened glares.

I don’t know very much about vampires, but my mother gave me a basic run down of the species once.

Vampires are an old species. They worship Nyx, the Goddess of the Night. It is said that she created Vampires with blood magic.

Mother always warned me to stay away from blood magic. She said it’s volatile and dangerous. Maybe that is why vampires are so volatile and dangerous.

She also told me that vampires are faster and more indestructible than any other species, with very few weaknesses.

A loud voice pulls me from my thoughts, “We’re ready for the prisoners, let’s go.”

It’s the vampire whose voice I had heard at the beginning of all of this. He is standing in the wide entrance to the dungeons, taking up most of the space between the flung-out double doors.

He is easily the biggest vampire in the group and looks to be the one in charge. He sweeps his eyes over the group of vampires and prisoners, huffs out an exhale and turns around leading us out.

We walk forward slowly, avoiding the eyes of the vampires on either side of the line.

I try not to let my uneasiness show, but I’m not very good at hiding my feelings; my mother always said I was overly dramatic…

And right now, I am more than uneasy, I’m frustrated. I’m scared and I’m worried now that my current plans are being forced to change.

I had everything planned on how I was going to escape this place, but now...

Now I have no idea what kind of obstacles will be in my way to freedom.

We exit the dungeon into a short hallway, lit with torches on the walls every few steps.

We start climbing the stairs that lead us up to the main part of the prison, I can’t make out much because of all the people in front of me but soon I start to feel fresh air on my face.

The feeling gives me my first rays of hope in a long time. Goddess, how long has it been since I felt anything but the bitter dungeon air?

This is refreshing.

Not much longer and the stairs end, leading us into a large, brightly lit hall which opens into what looks like a dining room for the guards that work here.

There is not a soul in sight, except for the vampires who are out here waiting for us. I spot the large prison entrance, the doors are wide open, letting the warm night air flow through the room.

We’re led straight out and into the humid and sticky night.

It’s still hot at night so we must be in mid-summer. My birthday is soon. Very soon. Excitement courses through me at the thought of finally unlocking who I truly am.

What kind of horrors do these vampires have in store for me until then? I can’t die, not when I’m so close to being strong enough to save myself.

My thoughts stop abruptly when I hear the sounds coming from up ahead. The enormous, covered wagons that look to be our mode of transportation are each led by two horses.

Although, I’m not sure horse is the right word for them, I mean, they look like horses, but they are easily twice the size of any normal horse, they are pure muscle, and currently making some scarily impatient noises.

Their bodies are solid obsidian black, and when some of them turn their heads towards the procession coming their way, I notice the bright crimson eyes. Vampiric horses?

Holy crap.

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