The man ran in the opposite direction causing Lord Dunkan to go after him. He did not go far. Laurissa heard the body fall to the ground when he caught the human. Her heart broke, and Lord Dunkan’s rage consumed her. It almost brought tears to her eyes.
She pushed the pain of the human’s death and her master’s anger away and continued to Madwell. Laurissa watched as Lord Dunkan returned to the manor in a foul mood. He took his anger out on his daughters. He unleashed the monster that he is and ripped the heads off the young vampires easily with his bare hands.
His females screamed and begged him to stop. Even Thana got on her knees in front of her new vampire and begged him to spare her. This only encouraged Dunkan to do his worst. He delighted in seeing the fear and the heartbreak in their eyes.
Laurissa would have to clean the blood from the manor in the morning. She will gladly do it. It will keep her mind busy and keep Lord Dunkan away. A shrill scream and a cry for mercy through the tendril shook Laurissa.
The scream brought attention back to Lord Dunkan’s rage. He was not satisfied with killing the young vampire. Laurissa’s disrespect has gone too far. He is powerless against her. If he went to her now, he would end her life. He has plans that require her to live.
Lord Dunkan is in the washroom, standing over Thana with her hair in his fist. The water ran with the fire burning the bottom of the barrel. The fear in Thana’s eyes broke Laurissa’s heart. Lord Dunkan forced Thana into the barrel. She screamed at the hot scalding water. Then her scream vanished as her head went under the water. Lord Dunkan turned the fire off and held Thana down until her body stopped moving. He called one of the other females to him. She was bruised and bloody as she approached Lord Dunkan. The stench of fear smelled fragrant to him in his madness. Thana began thrashing about in the water once again. Her head popped up with a gasp of air.
“Hold her down. She will be held down until consciousness takes her five-time before you may release her. Let this be a lesson not to interfere. This is my house. I will do as I please.”
The female paled and immediately pushed Thana down as instructed.
It sickened Laurissa. There was nothing she could do to help them. No matter what Laurissa did to save the lives Lord Dunkan took, he always over powered her and forced her to take the life. If she rushed to them to help, she would only end up causing more grief for them. She had seen enough of his rage. She blocked it out.
A dark chuckle flowed through her tendril. “You are learning, my dear. Do you see? My females will do as I command. It does not matter if they agree or not. I am master here. Learn to accept that.”
Laurissa did not respond to his taunt. He wanted a fight. The blood he shed was not enough. Laurissa waited until he fell asleep, then quickly went through the neighborhood, waking families and telling them to flee. She told them to warn others of their demise. She is even more encouraged to ruin Dunkan. He has once again shown his cruelty. He is the evil monster she has always known him to be. He must be stopped.
Ten people have already disappeared. Lord Dunkan’s daughter and sons have already selected their humans to turn into a vampire. Five of those are now dead. The army will come back tenfold and attack. The young vampire will be instructed to claim a human of their own. The humans must run and abandon their homes.
Laurissa made haste and was able to warn double the houses before the night was done. Over two hundred people began leaving. Lord Dunkan will notice the difference. She is not sure she will be allowed to return.
Laurissa returned to the woods just before dawn to rest. Lord Dunkan had left the body where it died. With a heavy heart, she buried the young man. The song of the earth seemed mournful this day. Perhaps it knows of the destruction that occurred last night. Six victims lost their lives.
As the sun rose to a new day, Laurissa finished burying the man Lord Dunkan killed and stood before the woods with strained muscles. Lord Dunkan woke to find Laurissa had never come to his bed. She must keep a calm mind as she thought of the occurrences of the previous day. So much had happened. She did not want to give Lord Dunkan reason to become violent with her. She remembered the deep meditation she fell into. There was a white river of light under the earth. Laurissa decided to experiment with this new ability.
She walked into the woods as far as she could go trapping Lord Dunkan in the manor and sat against a tree. She sent her tendril into the earth and looked for the bright white light. This time the light pulsed in slow rhythms. It dulled then pulsed a light that blinded Laurissa. Pulses of hunger and joy and sorrow came at her in waves. The river still flowed like blood through a vein or a lazy stream. This is a living entity. What did it hunger for?
Laurissa pulled her mind away and found it was midday. Those few short moments she spent was hours in the world. Laurissa stretched her sore muscles and returned to the manor. The other females are on their hands and knees cleaning the sitting room. They stopped and glared at her as she entered the room. They should not be forced to clean up after Lord Dunkan’s tantrum.
She caused this.
Laurissa went to the kitchen and collected a pail, then joined the others. They all left when she came in. She understood. They blamed her for what happened, and they were right. She would feel the same way if the situation were reversed. Laurissa must find a way to stop Lord Dunkan and soon. He is much more powerful than she is and is connected to her through the tendril. She is unsure if she will ever find a way out. All she could do is keep practicing and growing, and possibly someday, she will be able to free herself.
Laurissa was almost complete when Thana appeared in front of Laurissa. Her glare told Laurissa she was about to fight for her life. She had dark circles under her eyes, and her hair was not as finely brushed as it normally is. She looked as though she had aged. Laurissa silently stood before Thana.
“What is it about you?”
“I wish I knew. I have given Lord Dunkan every excuse to execute me. I have even tried to take my own life a couple times. Master Kissar spilled his wrath and brought me to the brink of death, and still, Lord Dunkan refuses to let me go. If you tell me, perhaps I can finally leave one way or another.”
“You admit to angering Lord Dunkan?”
“Yes. I despise him with everything I have, and yet I am trapped here just as you are.”
This surprised her. Her face paled as she looked toward the hall that led to his chambers. “I am not trapped. I go where I please.”
“Go. I dare you to leave. I promise you he will hunt you and kill you or bring you back here and make you wish you never existed. He forced me to kill Adrian and Zillah when they thought to leave.”
“Zillah was a traitor.”
“Zillah was no traitor. She only sought to live her life with a male who she loved very much. “
“She had a male. Lord Dunkan is our male.”
“No, Thana, you are his whore. We all are. Zillah wanted love and a companion to love. Adrian provided that. You should know this feeling. You wish to love Lord Dunkan in such away. Imagine if he was a male in a different master’s home and forbidden from loving you in return. Would you not wish to leave with him? Zillah did not leave Dunkan because she was not mated to him.”
“No, you did that. What did you do?”
“I did nothing, Thana. You know very well the control he has on this manor. He came to me as he has with all of you and forced me into the mating.”
Thana was silent a moment and watched Laurissa take the pail back to the kitchen.
A moment later, Thana entered the kitchen. “What did you do last night?” she was searching for a reason to strike Laurissa.
“I refused to turn a human and forced Lord Dunkan to kill it instead.”
Thana lost all her color. She was already pale and sickly. Now she looked like a spirit. “And you are still alive?”
“I do not understand it either. It appears he took his frustrations out here instead.”
“Indeed he did.” Thana said mournfully and left Laurissa in the sitting room.
“My Lord, may I speak?” Thana’s voice came into her tendril. Lord Dunkan sat at his study, going over his plans and making sure there were no flaws.
“What is it, my dear?” he said without looking at her.
“It is about Laurissa.”
Laurissa could feel his frustration mount. Perhaps he has learned enough from her.
“Yes.” He said, allowing his annoyance to show.
“Forgive me, my Lord. I know I should not intrude; however, I must know. What is your plan with her? She is not one of us. Why do you show mercy with her?”
“You are right, my dear. It is none of your concern what I do with the females in this manor. My affairs are not for you to know.” He said dangerously.
Thana knelt down at his feet. “Please, my Lord. If you feel the need to beat me, do it because I deserve it, not because Laurissa has angered you. If you do not wish to punish her, allow me to show Laurissa what happens when she disrespects you.”
Lord Dunkan adjusted in his chair and took Thana’s chin. The chocolate scent pleased him. “You wish to take your vengeance on Laurissa?”
“Do you hear that, my dear? What do you think I should do?” he projected as he sat back in his chair.
“Why do you want my opinion? You have already made your decision.”
“Go to the training room, my dear. I will send Laurissa. I will warn you. This fight will be to the death. You must kill her or perish.”
“I will not fail you, my Lord.”
“She is much younger than I am. When it is finished, will you mate with me?”
Lord Dunkan raised his eyebrows in surprise. It is bold of her to ask such a thing from him. Thana was one he favored, but he never felt the need to be her mate. “I will think on it.” He said smoothly.
He watched with lust as Thana’s form rounded the corner from his doorway. He has no intention of mating with Thana. She does not possess the qualities he desires.
“Do you see what your actions have caused? Do you see that your punishments and outbursts are unjust? She begs you not to beat her if she does not deserve it. Now you do not even want to mate your most loyal female. You are a blind fool Dunkan. If I do not kill you, she may.”
“You think you will kill Thana?”
“I hope not to, but I will fight to the very end.”
“We shall see.” He chuckled.
Lord Dunkan was amused and excited to see two females fight and anticipated the outcome. Laurissa has been a vampire for close to six weeks. Thana has been a vampire for a hundred years. Laurissa is intelligent and quick. She has been learning at a rapid rate. And her power has grown considerably. He felt her power that night in the woods. Her daggers were weak but acceptable for her age. He believed she would not be able to challenge Thana; however, she almost killed him when she raged the night he forced her to kill Zillah. This will be most entertaining.
Laurissa must end this quickly if she is going to survive. The tendril is the key. It is where vampires feel everything and store their memories. Laurissa paused in front of the door. She prepared her mind and her power. She knew the location of the memory tendril. She only needed to get to it quickly. This vampire meant to kill her. Laurissa had every right to defend herself. Thana is much older than her, which meant it would be harder to access her mind. She must catch Thana without her guard up. It is her only chance to survive.
’I am so sorry, Thana.’
She felt awful that Thana had to watch a human grow and take Lord Dunkan’s attention from her. Because of Laurissa, Thana has had to suffer Lord Dunkan’s wrath. She lost her young because Laurissa refused to create her own young. Grief is torturous to a vampire. Laurissa cannot imagine the pain Thana feels.
This fight is not fair. He could stop this. He is master here. The problem is the female vampire is expendable. Laurissa showed the qualities Lord Dunkan looked for, and yet even she is expendable.
Laurissa listened and knew where Thana was in the room. Laurissa quickly opened the door, sent a dagger tendril into Thana’s mind, and dove for her memory tendril before Thana could react.
Lord Dunkan stood before Thana, “My Lord? Where is Laurissa?”
Laurissa backhanded her hard then tore at her tendril. Thana began screaming. The other three females rushed to the doorway when they heard Thana.
“Stop and watch.” Laurissa heard Lord Dunkan command them.
Laurissa had no weapons, but she knew Thana was hers. She invoked an image of lord Dunkan’s sword going through her as Laurissa pulsed power. Thana’s body convulsed and began to bleed. Laurissa summoned more of her power and pulsed more daggers. Thana’s body went quiet. Laurissa left her mind and stood over her body. She could feel the stares behind her. She dare not look at them. They would be able to see her weakness. Laurissa would not be able to control the emotions growing inside.
Laughter erupted in her mind. “My dear, you have learned much. Thana is still alive. You must kill her.”
“I cannot, my Lord. I have no weapons.”
“Use your power.”
“You must show me.”
“Focus your power on her heart and stop it.”
Laurissa felt sick to her stomach. She knew if Thana recovered, she will not survive. As soon as Thana recovered, she would kill Laurissa. Laurissa used the element of surprise, and it worked this time. There will not be a second chance. She had no choice but to kill Thana.
Her heart raced as she knelt down beside Thana’s body, and tears formed. She did not want to end her life. This is Lord Dunkan’s taint. If only he released her after she turned into a vampire, none of this would have happened.
“You would have been dead. A different male would have found you and toyed with you just as I have. End Thana’s life or forfeit your own.” Lord Dunkan said indefinitely with his smooth cold voice.
“Thana, please forgive me.” Laurissa choked as she put her hand on Thana’s bloody chest. She pulsed her power into her chest and forced it through until it hit the heart. The power vibrated the heart-stopping it. She slowly stood and picked up Thana’s body. With tears in her eyes, she turned to leave. The others were all ashen.
“Free yourselves. Please. For your sake and mine. This is your fate if you do not.” She said. Her voice shook as she tried swallowing the pain. Laurissa walked toward them and out of the room as they silently parted. She went to the back of the manor where the wall to Lord Dunkan’s room stood and began burying her there.
Thana loved Dunkan and only wished to be near him. Now Lord Dunkan will be reminded of her and remember what he caused.
Dusk had fallen, and Lord Dunkan went to Madwell to collect a human for Laurissa. Laurissa went to the washroom to bathe and allow the hot water to relax her strained muscles. The water felt so good, and combined with lack of sleep, she quickly fell asleep.