Chapter 1: Crimson Night
“You cannot be serious,” I groan, my fingers jammed in my hair as I look at Victor with a dumbstruck face.
He holds back a giggle as he bites his bottom lip, nodding. “I’m dead serious, Rose.”
“She is such a fucking cunt!” I groan as I sit up, tilting my head back. “I swear, every month, she’s trying to run against me for clan leader, and every single time, she loses horribly!”
He nods, shrugging his shoulder as he chuckles.
“I mean, what does she think is going to happen?” I exclaim, waving my hands in the air. “Now I have to deal with setting up another election because of the stupid challenge rule! I should petition our Senator to change it to someone only being able to challenge three consecutive times before they can’t any longer unless they collect signatures or some shit like that.”
“I can draft a proposal if you want,” Victor replies, shrugging. “That would stop Melody. But, alas, the wheels of democracy are slow.”
“You can say that again,” I mutter, shaking my head. “Y’know, when I accepted this position, I didn’t think I’d be dealing with nutcases like her all the time.” I pause, smiling as I nudge him playfully. “Thankfully, I have someone with half a brain cell to help me.”
“Together, we merge into one functioning brain cell,” Victor, my second in command, jokes as he writes something down on his notepad. “I’ll make a note to draft that letter. It seems like there’s only one other thing to discuss today.”
“And what’s that?” I ask, sighing. “We’ve gone through quite a lot.”
I grimace, scrunching my nose; the name of that wolf pack is all he needs to say to annoy me.
“It was so much better when Alpha Hank and Luna Trix were in charge. Their daughter is another one of the nutcases.”
“I agree,” Victor replies, puffing out his cheeks. “But, we have to deal with Luna Genevieve whether we like it or not. However, things may be making a turn for the better. I’ve heard she’s starting to give her mysterious Alpha mate more power. Seems like she’s had a tight leash on him, but she’s letting up.”
“Maybe we’ll finally meet the poor bastard,” I joke. “I couldn’t imagine being mated to that psycho.”
“Well, we still have to remain cordial. We share a border with them, and, despite her being extremely toxic and hard to deal with, Genevive does have strong relationships with other packs in the area. She could make our lives a living hell.”
“I’m not too certain about that,” I answer with a smirk, glancing at the ceiling. “We’ll have to send out a few probes. See how other packs feel about her now that they've all likely had the pleasure of receiving the full Genevive Experience.”
“You should trademark that.”
I chuckle, shaking my head. “I’m serious, though,” I reply. “If she’s made enemies, maybe they can be our new friends?”
He scribbles on his notepad, nodding. “I’ll send out a few hooks and see if anyone bites.”
“Thanks, Vic,” I reply as he stands, his tall six-foot frame only slightly higher than my five-foot-nine self. I especially like to wear heels; it makes me feel even more intimidating than I already am.
After all, I am the only daylighter in my clan. And that’s not even half of it.
“No problem, Rose,” he replies with a charming smile. “You hanging out here for a while?” He asks, gesturing to the empty conference room.
“Yeah,” I reply. “I’m gonna mull a few things over.”
“Okay, well, let me know when you’re done so we can get shitfaced.”
I throw my head back, letting out a belly laugh as he closes the door. They say mixing business with pleasure is never good, but it works very well for Vic and me. And by pleasure, I mean we are best friends, nothing more. But we sure do know how to have a good time.
I stare out the open window, gazing at the moon, three-quarters full tonight. It’s shining brightly, illuminating the dark green of the pine trees that litter our little slice of what I feel is paradise.
I groan, my stomach cramping as I double over. I probably have to change my tampon soon.
I arch my eyebrow, trying to remember how many I have left. I have to buy them in secrecy from a human town far away. Humans can’t tell the difference between vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and themselves very well, especially since I come during the day and don’t get burned. So I try to be incognito because a vampire with a period would raise a lot of questions.
It’s annoying having to wait outside the store and parooze the aisles until I can smell that no warlock or werewolf is inside, and it’s safe to make my purchase without any prying eyes.
Who knows what would happen if someone found out? Vampires aren’t fertile, an unfortunate side effect of no longer having a beating heart or blood running through the veins.
There have been other cases of daylighters, sure. People have theorized it’s a result of a fluke in the turning process or a sire being a turned warlock or werewolf, but neither happened to me.
I was born. Not bitten.
And I don’t have blood in my veins. So how can I have a period? Can I carry a child to term, given that my heart does not beat?
All of these are questions I have no answers to. And, from all my research, there’s no other case of a vampire like me.
I lick my lips, scratching my head as I stand, crossing my arms as I stare out the window, taking a deep breath.
It doesn’t matter. I’ve hidden it perfectly well all twenty years of my life. My mother hid me until I was eighteen, so I didn’t understand how different I was from the others. People would raise eyebrows at a five-year-old vampire who didn’t stop growing. But my aging stopped at eighteen, and with it, my mother’s care.
She couldn’t leave our house. She never told me why. But she didn’t want me to grow up in isolation my whole life, so she sent me off on my own to face a world I knew very little about.
Thankfully, my mom did a great job raising me to be observant, maybe even a little manipulative, but I don’t like to look at it that way.
I soon discovered I was stronger, faster, and wiser than other vampires. I could easily fight even the largest males, which made it easy to earn my way into a clan and gain respect among my peers.
Only a year after that, at nineteen, the previous leader decided to step down after being in charge for a hundred and twenty-seven years. I entered the running to take his place, unopposed.
The first female leader of the Crimson Night Clan.
Pretty girl boss of me, if I do say so myself.
As far as the others know, I was bitten at eighteen by an ex-boyfriend named Dimitri, who was a warlock before he was turned. I was human. Dimitri promptly left me for a warm-blooded woman, and my human parents are dead, which is why I lived with a shit-bag like Dimitri in the first place. So I had nowhere to go.
Then, voila, here I am. New to being a vampire, maybe lacking a few social skills, but, hey, can you blame me? I was human all my life!
All things are explained away. No questions asked.
“Ain’t that a miracle,” I whisper as I turn away from the window, heading out the door to prepare for Victor and I’s night of revelry.