I stare with wide eyes at the spot the faerie had stood just seconds ago, and shake my head in disbelief. It’s true what they say about faeries after all. They truly were malicious creatures who despised us humans. I thought it was just a saying, but after what has only just happened, I can say that the sayings are actually true. I have never met a more foul and unpleasant creature in my life. The things he said about what he had done to humans makes me want to vomit.
I wish to never see that creature again because if I do, I do not know what I will do to it.
With my eyes to the ground, embarrassed to look at the prince and the woman, I whimper as I slowly come to a stand. I wrap my arms around myself and stand wait.
“What is your name?”
I frown up at the prince in confusion.
Did he not see what had just occurred? After everything I had said and done today, this is what he has to say to me.
“My name?” I ask softly.
The prince does not answer me.
“The prince will not ask you again. Us royalties do not repeat ourselves to peasants like you.” Lilith comes to stand next to the prince and wraps her hand possessively around his arm.
The prince moves away from her touch and advances towards me. “What is your name?”
Lilith’s jaw drops but then hides it with a scoff. “Why do you care what her name is, Alexander? Call her a slave just like I do with my servant.”
My jaw clenches as I narrow my eyes in anger at her.
She sees my reaction and lifts an eyebrow. “What? Did I offend you?”
“His name is Noah.” I say through gritted teeth.
She waves me off. “I do not care about his name. He is a slave who I will drink from until he is completely drained of his blood, and when I am through with him, he won’t be remembered. I’ll throw him away just like the others.”
“That is enough, Lilith.” Alexander turns to face Lilith and motions to the door. “It’s about time you left. You have overstayed your welcome.”
“Close the door on your way out.” He turns back to me and motions to one of the couches. “Please. Have a seat.”
Lilith glares at me for a few seconds, then leaves quietly and accordingly.
“Maybe this time, I might be able to get your name.” The prince asks as he takes a seat.
I slowly make my way over and sit on the other end of the couch. “My name is Jane.” I say.
He nods and smiles softly. “It is nice to meet you, Jane.”
I couldn’t say the same. So, I just nod.
“I apologise for Phoenix’s behaviour. If I had known about his visit, I would have met with him outside the palace but unfortunately, he is an unpredictable sort.”
I nod again because I am unsure of what else to say.
“I am sure it has been a long day for you. How are you feeling?”
I frown. “Excuse me?”
“How are you feeling?” He repeats.
I restrain myself from rolling my eyes at his ridiculous question. Does he not understand anything? Does he not understand what I am going through?
I look away from his gaze and shake my head. “What kind of question is that?”
A long pause follows until the prince speaks again. “Have I upset you?”
I turn back to him. “Of course, you have! Why would you ask me something like that in a time such as this?”
“I do not know what you mean.”
“How dare you!? Where is your compassion!?”
This was it. This was my last day on Earth. Cause of death? Death by vampire.
I have never met this creature before or heard of his reign, yet I speak to him like our roles were reversed. Acting like this might possibly get me killed, but if I have a chance of changing the way of things around here, then by god I’m going to take that chance by being rude and demanding. It might not make any different whatsoever, but at least I can say that I tried getting through to him.
His brows rise as he studies me. “Excuse me?”
I ask him again, slowly. “Where is your compassion?”
“My compassion?” I notice his tone is filled with annoyance, but that will not stop me.
“Yes. Do you not understand what happened today? At the auction? To all of the humans there today?”
He frowns. “Of course, I do. I was there.”
“And what is your judgement of it all?” I ask.
“I do not have anything to say about it.” The prince shrugs and motions around him. “This has all happened for a reason.”
I cannot believe that he is unfazed by all of this.
Does he not understand that all of the boys and the girls at the auction today will suffer for the rest of their lives?
Or maybe he doesn’t even care. He is a vampire after all.
“But don’t you think this whole punishment is absurd? Do you not think that our kind have suffered enough?”
We’ve suffered for thirty years. This punishment had gone on long enough.
“What do you want me to say? Look, I did not mean to upset you when I asked you how you were feeling.”
“But you have! My people will never go home to their families, will never be free and yet you sit there and act like it is nothing at all! And so, I’ll say it again, where is your compassion?”
“Our kind did not start the rebellion.” He says simply. “Your kind started it all.”
That was true, but a lot of humans did not take part in the rebellion. A lot of us humans were innocent, including my family. We did not believe in violence or retaliation. We only wished to live in peace and solitude, but then this ludicrous rebellion started and living in peace did not seem like an option anymore.
“Not all humans were at fault.”
“That does not make a difference.”
My voice rises. “Well, the least you and your kind could do is show a little empathy! At the auction today, I was disgusted with what my eyes had witnessed. Out of all the creatures there today, the behaviour of your kind was by far the worst.”
“I care of how you speak!” He shouts.
“Prince or not, I do not care. I will speak to you in any manner I wish to.” I grit out. “If I die for speaking my mind then you should stop me right now because I am far from finished.”
He comes to a stand and sighs, his tone softened. “I do not wish to argue with you. What is done is done, and there is nothing you can do about it.”
I shove myself off the couch and stand in front of him. “You are a prince! Therefore you have the ability to break and create new laws. Surely, there is something you can do about this whole fiasco?”
“Even if I did, I still would not help you.”
Defeated, I shake my head.
“What you’re asking for is something that cannot be undone. It is out of my hands.” He looks at his watch and clears his throat. “It is feeding time. Come.”
My heart leapt, flipping over within my chest at his sudden change of topic.
It was time. Time to do my duty as a blood servant to feed him. This particular moment was something I had been dreading since this punishment was carried out. I cannot believe the time has come.
With our conversation forgotten, I sit myself down on the couch, peel my hair away from my neck and look up at him with a glare. “Just get it over and done with.”
Alexander frowns. “What are you doing?”
“You said it is feeding time. I am doing my duty as your blood servant. That is what I am, isn’t it?”
Just as he goes to respond, a soft clearing of a throat draws both of our attentions to the doorway. It was Isabella. In her hands is a tray of food, but I cannot make out what is on it. She bows and smiles sweetly. “I have prepared food for the girl, your highness.”
Food? For me?
“Very good.” The prince calls Isabella over.
She comes to a stop as the prince gazes at the tray in her arms. I could not stop my stomach from growing as I stare the mound of food filed up on the tray. I had never seen such delicious looking foods in my life. I could not tear my eyes away from the different fruits and sandwiches placed neatly on the tray. The food was enough to feed me and my mother for at least a week.
“Take the tray and eat as much as you wish. You must be starving.”
For the first time since entering the palace, my thoughts turn to my mother. No doubt she’s worrying about me. I try so hard to fight the tears from falling. I try so hard that I close my fists and squeeze them as tight as I can.
Do not cry, Jane. You are stronger than this.
As I look at the mouth-watering food, I realise that I cannot bring myself to take the tray away from Isabella, not when my mother’s at home, cold and hungry. I just couldn’t.
“I’m sorry, but I cannot eat this.”
He frowns. “Why not?”
“My people, and most importantly my mother is starving. Eating this food, wouldn’t be right.”
The prince slowly approaches me an gently takes my hand. “You must eat. Do you think your mother would want you to starve?”
I shake my head.
“Then, come. Eat.” Isabella gives the tray over to the prince, then leads me to a table for two by the nearest bay window. He sets the tray down on the table, ushers me into a seat then sits in the chair opposite mine.
“Eat as much as you want. And if you wish to have more, do not be afraid to ask.”
I nod as I dig into the food and eat until I cannot eat another bite.
It was the first time in years I had ever been completely full.
“Would you like some more?” The prince asks softly.
I rest my hand on my bloated stomach. “No, thank you. I think I am finished.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” I say with another nod.
“Good.” Alexander stands from his chair, smooths down his attire and picks up the now empty tray. “Your services are no longer needed for the rest of the evening. Do what you wish but do not try to escape. The whole place is guarded.”
The thought of escaping had only just entered my mind. As much as I want to escape the palace and return home, I would never make it without getting caught by the guards.
I was trapped with no way out at all.
I was a prisoner.