At dusk, Laurissa followed the other females into Madwell to feed and hunt for a human to bring back. Laurissa was instructed to not bring a human but to feed more than she should. Lord Dunkan will feed off her veins tonight. It is a show of power and wealth, nothing more.
“Are you well, Laurissa?” Keres asked on the way back to the manor.
“You have been too quiet this last week.”
“I am nervous about tonight.”
“Fear not, my Queen. I do not think Lord Dunkan will allow any of those males to make advances on you.”
Laurissa nodded and quietly continued on, careful not to allow a thought or emotion to escape her.
Keres could feel the anxiety coming from Laurissa. She put her arm around Laurissa’s shoulder and hugged her.
“You must remember, Lord Dunkan will not allow harm to come to us. You are the first he has mated out the dozens of females he has brought into this manor. He has dressed you to stand out. I see his gaze when he looks at you. You have nothing to fear.”
“Thank you for your kindness Keres.” Keres’s death will be painful for Laurissa. She thought to allow Keres to live; however, Keres would avenge her master. She is only friendly toward Laurissa because Lord Dunkan is.
Laurissa separated from the other females to feed in peace. Her mind and her heart fought with each other. Death is a waste of life. The burden of the executioner is a heavy burden to carry. Her anger burned hot demanding compensation for Dunkan’s violation. Fear of being caught before she had the chance to execute her plan choked her.
Her body hummed with contradicting emotions she could hardly concentrate on her feeding. The blood did not entice her or taste sweet. It was a mindless feeding as she found a single human and embraced it like a lover. The joy she feels from the power and from the earth is choked by the raging storm within.
Patience. This night will end one way or another. Hold on a little longer. She counseled herself.
Laurissa walked silently back to the manor taking control of the storm. She has trained relentlessly for this night. One way or another, a vampire will die tonight. Mated vampires live and die together. When one dies, the other soon follows with a broken heart.
Laurissa cannot imagine she will die of a broken heart. She does not love Dunkan. She is his slave, his whore, and his weapon against the masters. She will break free. She belongs to no one.
Laurissa opened the door to the room, buzzing with male vampires. They are all talking about their accomplishments in their villages and what their hopes were. The humans have been taken to be cleaned then placed in the kitchen.
“Gentlemen, while my females prepare our feast, allow me to give you a tour of Madwell.” He stood and said, “My Queen, please accompany me.” He projected.
“Yes, my Lord.”
Laurissa walked by Lord Dunkan’s side with all the grace a queen would have. Lord Dunkan is in awe of her. He hoped she made the right choice. The thought of her death made him sick. Her absence will leave a void in his home he will not be able to fill. Perhaps he can create a new trap. One she will never escape from.
Lord Dunkan led the group of males through to the northern side of Madwell and started the tour with the breeding houses. He took them slowly around the town, telling them how it would be sectioned and which housing district were for breeding, crafts, and trade and which houses would be run by women or men. It was all broken down to run as efficiently as possible.
The tour ended a few hours later at the southern part where the male farmers were housed. He then led the group back to the manor. Once everyone was seated, the females brought their human to feed and filled the male’s goblets. Laurissa stood behind Lord Dunkan with a hand on his shoulder.
The room is exactly how Laurissa envisioned it. Lord Dunkan is at the head of the table. The masters from the region are seated closest to him, then his sons are seated next to the masters. Dunkan’s daughters, along with Simon’s house, are lined up behind the males seated at the long table. Humans lined up behind the females waiting to be served. She must keep calm and wait for the right time.
Once everyone’s goblets were filled and the humans were cauterized, Lord Dunkan took Laurissa’s wrist and drank from her vein, taking only a taste. The sensation brought her desire forth. She is able to keep her emotions from revealing themselves. She appears cool and calm.
Lord Dunkan loves the taste of her honeysuckle blood. Combined with her wildflower scent, the experience is a moment of tranquil bliss. He felt the desire from Laurissa as his fangs bit into her wrist. This pleased him very much. It gave him hope she will remain his.
The room noticed Dunkan’s show of dominance. They remembered Laurissa from the last meeting and noticed she dressed differently as well. Lord Dunkan’s statement is well-read. None of the males had a desire to talk to Laurissa or bed her. This comforted them both.
“Apologies, Lord Dunkan.” Master Aron stood from his seat.
Lord Dunkan only looked at him in acknowledgment. When no one interjected, he continued. “It has come to my attention that you have established a house in the male district.”
“As each house here has created a house, of that I am sure.” Lord Dunkan interrupted.
Aron seemed to become angered by the accusation. He looked around the room for support. When he did not get any, he continued, “It was agreed we would each bring a son and create a house we all have control over.”
“That is still the agreement.”
“Why have you established a house? Do you mean to gain control of the farm?”
“The answers to your questions are in the contract. If you are finished, I suggest you read the contract. Any disagreements you have can be voiced at that time.”
Lord Dunkan’s voice is the smooth cold voice Laurissa knew very well. She could feel his irritation of the master through the tendril.
On the table is a very large scroll. Lord Dunkan opened it and began reading it. It stretched the entire length of the table.
Each house will bring one hundred humans from their village and keep a steady number of one hundred.
_38%___will be maiden’s
__40%__will be young men
__10%__women with a trade skill
__10%__Men with a trade skill
Maidens: will be housed in designated breeding houses
Men will be housed in designated houses.
Traders will be separated by gender and housed in the square.
Each house will be responsible for breeding their own livestock.
To prevent incest breeding, each female will only breed with one male unless no pregnancy takes place. Each male will only breed with up to three females.
Once the offspring matures, they will breed with one of a different bloodline. This will include rotating offspring from house to house.
Each house may have up to two vampires in their district monitoring and documenting the breeding.
Each house will be responsible for rotating the elderly with younger humans.
Each house will only be allowed to withdraw from the herd once the population reaches one hundred twenty humans. This number is subject to change as the population of vampires increases.
Each house is responsible for maintaining the health of the humans. If one house is without a healer, that house will pay for a healer from another house with one healthy human maiden or bring a healer within one week’s time.
Death caused by a vampire is punishable by death. Breaking any rules in this contract will result in loss of status, and the humans will be divided among the remaining houses.
Each year the houses will rotate their human’s labor skills to allow rest. Those farming will work the fields until harvest then breed the following year. Same goes for male and female a like.
The house representative will be allowed to feed on their own one hundred humans while attending Madwell.
Lord Dunkan’s house will patrol the area and prevent any outside humans from trading with Madwell. Merchant’s material goods will be divided between each house. Any food or resource materials will be given to the humans and distributed equally to each house.
Each house will be responsible for teaching their humans a trade of any kind. It is permissible to allow the human traders to interact and teach one another no matter which house they belong to. This will benefit any house and the village as a whole. There will be no profit gained with his act.
Each house will answer to and respect Lord Dunkan’s mate, Laurissa. Laurissa will govern Madwell and ensure each house is in compliance with this contract.
Each house representative will sign a copy of the contract in blood. Failure to comply will be death by female.
Once Dunkan reached the ordinance of Laurissa governing Madwell, the room erupted in arguments. Lord Dunkan quietly stood and waited until the room went quiet. Lord Dunkan’s voice is smooth and extremely dangerous. The edge to his voice has never been heard before. It sent chills down Laurissa spine, and a sick feeling grew in her stomach.
“My mate is more than capable of ensuring this contract is not broken. I am known for breaking females and killing them to my desire. I took a female as my mate six hundred years ago. She betrayed me and died at my hand. Do not think I will hesitate to do the same here.
“Laurissa is the first I have not killed and the first I have mated since that time. This female has more potential than a seven hundred year old vampire. If you wish to forfeit your life and livestock, you may test her. She will not spare you, and I will not interfere.
“You each have a quill in front of you. Dip it in your blood and sign the contract or die.” Lord Dunkan met everyone’s gaze as he slowly sat down then took Laurissa’s wrist.
The room became eerily quiet. The females eyed Laurissa, and fear started radiating from them. The males are connected through the tendril. They know Dunkan spoke the truth. None of them like the position they found themselves in. Anger and resentment flowed heavily from Emerick. A quiet void encircled Boros. His eyes met Laurissa’s as he reached for the quill. A very slight nod and a twitched of his mouth told her it is time.
Everyone is distracted and deep in thought. Laurissa quickly unlocked the vault that contains her emotions. They burst through like a tidal wave. She focused her rage, her sorrow, and her physical pain and imagined the copper tip of her tendril to glow hot as if it was forged in the oven. She released the tendril with a scream. It flew from her and entered each vampire before any of them could respond.
One by one, her dagger shot through the minds of the masters and their followers. Dunkan’s body went limp before her. His head hit the table as her dark blue, copper-tipped dagger raced to the bottom of his black tendril. The color of his tendril matched that of his heart.
Kissar is already dead. Master Ulric was seated next to Dunkan’s right while master Garrath sat to his left. Both never saw her tendril strike. Their minds were distracted by the contract. Her dagger continued through to each one. Each one was equally easy to kill. Twenty vampires lay dying in the manor.