Over the next few years, Lord Dunkan taught Laurissa how to read and write. Laurissa rarely saw any other women in the house. When Lord Dunkan had to leave the manor, he commanded Laurissa to stay in her room. He was never away for more than a day.
On occasion, Laurissa grew frustrated with her sentence or word, and Lord Dunkan made her stop to do an equally challenging task around the house. She washed her own plates and began cooking her own food. She kept the house tidy and learned how to keep the fireplace burning in the winter.
Lord Dunkan was always moving and adjusting furniture in his home, which he instructed Laurissa to do. She never had a moment to be bored or play outside. Lord Dunkan would allow her to visit the outside world if it included her studies. She loved his nature scrolls and explored the area looking for the different plant life and animals that it described. Herbal medicine fascinated her.
Lord Dunkan’s temper was violent, and on several occasions, he whipped Laurissa with a skinny branch. Her curiosity began ruling her reason, and she forgot her who master was. She wondered where he went each night. She tried to follow him one evening. She was bruised for several weeks after that night.
Laurissa would occasionally hear screams and howls that came from the manor and somewhere from outside. The howls were almost animal-like. When Laurissa asked about the noises, Lord Dunkan told her not to be concerned. Laurissa never found out what the noises were, but she suspected it was from one of the other women that lived in the manor.
Lord Dunkan tasked her with reading most of his scrolls. He had come from a warm and humid place called Greece. It told of different Gods and beliefs. Great monsters called titans roamed the land. The people there were mostly fishermen or grew fruit called grapes.
In the Fall of her sixth year living with Lord Dunkan, Laurissa became ill. Her body ached, and her gut felt as though it twisted in knots. Lord Dunkan has seen this many times. It is a natural stage every girl goes through when they become childbearing age. Laurissa was becoming a woman. It is the scent that most attracts Lord Dunkan. Young Maidens are his favored desert. A clean, healthy maiden could madden any vampire’s mind. They have a fresh scent with a slight metallic taste. They are the ones who are full of life and love.
Lord Dunkan remained distant and instructed Keres to comfort Laurissa and explain what was happening to her body. Laurissa had grown beautifully. She never lost the innocence in her eyes. They still promised unbelievable secrets he must uncover. The blues in her eyes darkened to rival the sea or precious stone. Her voice lowered but still held a chime of life and joy.
Everything was a wonder to her. New discoveries excited her and made her determined to learn everything about it. Her excitement set his nerves on end. It filled his home with joy he did not care for. He could see the way Keres watched Laurissa grow. Keres looked at Laurissa like a mother would a child. She felt joy in helping raise Laurissa and felt concerned for the child when she hurt herself. Lord Dunkan watched for her mistake. Perhaps Laurissa will take Keres place.
Laurissa’s hair grew to be full and long, caressing her womanly curves, and her body began teasing Lord Dunkan. She still has the innocent look young maidens will occasionally remain in until they bare their first child. It made her look younger than she truly is. Now that she is of age, he will pursue her and possibly mate her. He did not have a preference on the body type of a young maiden. Their scent and their zest for life are richest at the time they begin puberty. Laurissa has finally reached that stage in her life, and she belongs to him, and he is very attracted to it. He could not wait to taste her blood.
Laurissa will begin learning the ways of the vampire. Lord Dunkan hid his world from her and educated her on the human’s world. She must see what weak creatures they truly are. Once she is a vampire, she will see his strength. He planned on breaking Laurissa’s innocence brutally.
During the time Laurissa lived with him, he came to know Laurissa to be kind-hearted and always wanted to be pleasing like a pathetic lap dog. He is prepared for Laurissa to hate him. Something about her tells him she will be a vampire to be feared. If only he can harness that power, he will be able to launch his plans of domination centuries into the future.
Lord Dunkan waited a week to allow Laurissa’s body time to adjust to the changes, then looked for her outside. She enjoyed the sunlight, and the fresh smell it brought as a new day began. He approached her and put a hand on her shoulder to turn her to face him. It is time to tighten his web and make her his permanently. His heart raced at the thought.
“My dear, it is time for us to talk of a matter that you have been questioning for some time.”
He didn’t call her ‘little one’. Laurissa guessed she is officially an adult now. “Yes master?”
“Come with me.” He commanded.
Laurissa obediently followed Lord Dunkan into the house and into a room she was never allowed into and never invited in. The room is almost as large as the sitting room. A huge bed with a canopy lined one wall. A very small window let in just enough light to know the time of day. A desk that dwarfed her own sat near the entry, and a second door was on the far right of the room.
Lord Dunkan shoved Laurissa in and closed the door behind her. His eyes began to glow as he fought his excitement. There is no doubt in Laurissa’s mind. His eyes are actually glowing. Laurissa began to fear him as she felt her life was about to end.
Lord Dunkan ignored the stench of her fear and walked behind her and brushed her shoulders, allowing the hair to fall over his arm. Laurissa felt like prey in a predator’s den. Something is terribly wrong.
“You may ask me anything you wish to ask, and I will tell you truthfully. There is a price for such knowledge, my dear.” His voice is harsh and unforgiving as he pulled in his prize.
Laurissa dared not say a word. He stopped in front of her and put a bony finger under her chin. Lord Dunkan’s lips were tight, and his nose seemed longer and sharper than usual. An aura of power seemed to emanate from him. She has never seen him his way. His eyes always told her he was a dangerous man to anger. His punishments were proof of that. This time they seemed hungry and especially dangerous. Her heart raced within her chest.
“Yes, Master?” Laurissa replied, shaking.
Lord Dunkan is enjoying the reaction he is getting from her. Virgins pull and vibrate when they are scared. They hold him in the most delicious way.
He continued looking at her, demanding she ask her questions. There is no escape from this room.
“Would my master tell me the price for such knowledge?”
Lord Dunkan straightened, proud of her first question. She showed caution even though every fiber of her wanted to run. “You will be forever changed. You will be forever mine. I will own your body and your soul. You will complete tasks you would not dream possible, and you will hate me for it, but you will do as I command, none the less.”
Laurissa swallowed hard. “You mean to take me as your bride? Do you wish to marry me?”
“Oh yes, my dear.” The smoothness of his voice sickened her
Curiosity drowned her need to flee. She did not love Lord Dunkan as a husband. She barely liked him as a father. His punishments were cruel and unjustified, in her opinion. Still, she had to know his secret.
“I can ask any question without angering you?” He hated it when she questioned his demand. She would occasionally be punished. He never allowed her to ask questions about him or the other women in the manor.
Lord Dunkan grinned to himself as he continued pulling his prize to him. He knew her curiosity would be her end. She had to willingly accept him. That was his price. If she accepted him, she would be the mother to the vampire world and his queen. “That is your fourth question, and yet you still stand before me.” He turned and walked to his desk and leaned on the edge to wait for the trap to snare his prize. He relaxed his posture to give her comfort. Body language was just as important as words. A false sense of security will allow her to fall helplessly into his trap.
“Do you mean to kill me?” A sense of dread came over Laurissa. The warnings she had when she first walked through the manor doors are loud and clear. ’RUN’
“Quite possibly, my dear. It depends on where this conversation leads. The more you know, the more you will become mine to do as I please.”
‘RUN’ No. I need to know. “Have you killed before?”
“Oh yes, and I plan to again and again.”
She could feel her face lose color, and her gut formed knots. She has always known he is some kind of monster. “Why?”
“That answer requires a long story. One I will gladly tell you later.”
“Where are the other girls that used to live here?”
“They are still here. They are not to interact with you.”
“They would have killed you.”
“Is Keres yours?”
“She did not kill me.” She looked accusingly at Lord Dunkan. His eyes glowed brighter, and his hands turned white as he gripped the edge of the desk. Laurissa knew she crossed a line. Her heart pounded in her chest. ‘RUN.RUN.RUN!!!’
“Keres was under orders not to touch you under penalty of a very long and painful death. They all were. It would have also meant your death, my dear.”
Laurissa is looking at a murder. This man who raised her likes killing people. It was not long after her mother thought to offer her to Dunkan that she died. “Did you kill my mother?”
“No. Her sickness did that.”
There is one question that kept ringing in her mind and fighting its way out. Laurissa is afraid to ask it. She knows the answer would seal her fate. She desperately tried to buy time and think of other questions. But she couldn’t think of any. She felt she knew the world around her. She wanted to explore Greece and the lands further north and experience what Lord Dunkan wrote about.
“The howls at night. You told me to ignore them. What were they?”
Lord Dunkan did not hesitate to answer. “The other women satisfying my needs.”
“Is that why you took girls from Madwell?”
“No, my dear. You will soon know the answer to that question.”
“What did you do to them?”
“Five of the females are still here. The others forced me to end their life. As I said, your life will be mine to control. Are you certain you wish to know more?”
Laurissa looked at the door handle. She is trapped. This is simply a game to him. The longer she asked questions, the longer she stayed alive. She looked around the room for a way to escape but found none.
Laurissa paced back and forth, trying to find another question. Any question but the one she knew would seal her fate. She swore to never give into death. Now death looked straight into her eyes, and she has no hope of escaping it.
“Ask your question, my dear.”
The scent of her fear has Lord Dunkan’s desire painfully stiff. Laurissa’s mind working through her options is quite entertaining. He is as a cat playing with a mouse. Soon he will devour her. It will be glorious.
The question burned in Laurissa’s mind begging to be released. She never stopped seeking the answer to her questions. She studied her discovery until she knew it intimately. A creature she has never seen beside Lord Dunkan has offered to answer the questions she has been asking herself all these years. He has been kind to her as long as she followed his commands. He has provided shelter and food. She would have died if it were not for him. Still, the creature is not human, and the way Lord Dunkan looked at her told her she was doomed. She had to know.
“Why do your eyes glow?”
‘NO. RUN AND NEVER LOOK BACK!’ But I have to know.
There it is. She is so close. Another pull on the invisible snare will bring her to him. He can hear the frantic battle within. “It is a trait of my people.”
“And what are your people?” Laurissa blurted out before she could stop it. She gasped, and her hand flew over her mouth as she realized what she said. The most evil grin Laurissa has ever seen crept across Lord Dunkan’s face.
The monster stood straight and approached her with bright glowing eyes. This is it. He is going to eat her. That’s why he kills people. He eats them, and she is next. The women in the house satisfies his needs? Were they sadistic needs? She didn’t want to find out. This was a question she was willing to leave unanswered. Laurissa backed into a wall and tried to grab for the door. Lord Dunkan’s grinned showed fangs that grew out of his mouth. Laurissa remembers thinking she saw them once but thought it was an illusion. Now she knows without a doubt those fangs are meant for eating people.
“That is the question that has tormented you for the last five years. By asking me this question, you have agreed to mate with me. Get undressed, my dear.” Lord Dunkan was inches from her. All she could see were the two fangs. Mate? He likes to have sex, then eat his victims? Is that why she heard howls on occasion? It all makes sense now!
He raped and beat the women then fed off them. She is going to be his next victim. She couldn’t bear to think of a life as a slave to this monster—one who devours his slaves over and over again.