“My King.” A low voice called.
Cepheus took a long sip from his goblin.
“What is it.”
Raphael licked at his lips as his eyes flickered to the bleeding body on the floor adjacent to the vampire.
“You missed the council meeting.” He continued as he entered the room with slow steps.
“And?” The king questioned, seeing no issue in his absence.
Raphael glanced down at the body again to see that it was one of the whores that worked at the brothel. The boy had young features with blonde hair and green eyes.
“This is why you couldn’t be bothered to make an attendance? Too busy with your dick up his ass I assume.” Raphael spoke calmly but there was a certain disapproving edge to his tone.
Cepheus tipped back the remains of what was left in the goblin and threw it behind him carelessly.
Raphael shifted his head to the right, the item barely missing him.
“Don’t be so juvenile.” Raphael hissed at his friend’s tantrum.
“I can be whatever the fuck I want because I am King.” He said mockingly, stepping over the limp body without thought.
“Meaning that I don’t have to attend those frivolous meetings if I care not to and I can sure as hell fuck anything that walks if I feel for it.”
Raphael didn’t even flinch as his friend carried on with his antics.
“You didn’t have to kill him then my King. What pleasure did that bring you?” Raphael questioned as his foot rolled the boy onto his back.
“I was hungry.” Cepheus mumbled, swiping at the corner of his lip with his tongue as if there was something there. “And you know I prefer my drinks straight from the tap.” He gave with a smirk.
Raphael rolled his eyes and went to sit on the edge of the table that was sat in front of the fireplace.
Cepheus’ smirk faltered at his friend’s tone. What had given him the impression that anything was the matter?
“Stop it. I am not entertaining your incessant need to be my shrink.” He spat, running a frustrated hand through his already messy hair.
“Answer the question Cepheus. If you don’t you will regret it later.”
“And why is that?”
“People have noticed you going off the rails recently. I’ve known you long enough to see you get your shit together but they haven’t. You need to calm down.”
“I can’t.” Cepheus snapped, his nails lengthening and his eyes blazing red in rage.
“I won’t. And I don’t need the likes of you telling me to either.”
“Just let me self-destruct in piece.” He ended bitterly.
“Don’t say such things.” His friend chastised with a frown.
Cepheus didn’t respond. His head was turned towards the open window and he seemed entranced by something.
He felt an invisible force pulling at a string in the center of his chest. The feeling calmed him slightly but also brought along fear, anxiety and distress. It was strange how he was feeling similar emotions, yet he knew that these were not his own.
He stared out, unblinking and Raphael stepped closer in concern.
“What is it?”
The vampire didn’t respond. Instead, his nostrils flared and he neared the window, his fingers twitching.
“I have to go.”
Cepheus stood on the platform by the window and jumped out, startling the guards that stood below.
He landed effortlessly and took off in a blur, knowing that he grew closer to the force as the pull in his chest lessened.
Cepheus stopped when he approached a slight clearing in the dense forest. He was near the edge of his territory, almost venturing out into land that was unclaimed.
He hadn’t seen anything yet but his body felt otherwise.
His eyes searched frantically for something, someone.
“By the gods.” Cepheus whispered, his eyes widening in shock.
A short boy stumbled into the clearing with tear stained cheeks. His skin was tainted the faintest shade of blue and his ears were pointed.
Cepheus straightened up after processing what stood before him.
This was his mate.
Not wasting any more time, he swiftly made his way behind the smaller boy, inhaling his scent.
Bay remained quiet as they walked through the dense forest. The only obvious sound being a low melodic hum that escaped Cepheus’ throat.
“How did you find me?” Bay finally asked, causing Cepheus to pause.
“I had a feeling...” He started, his eyes flashing to his. “I felt your emotions, your fear. I needed to find you.”
Bay nodded as if any of that made sense to him. He did not have the energy to understand anything at the moment. He needed to sleep and get back before his mother realized he was missing.
His thoughts made his eyes widen and he halted his steps as his speech grew frantic.
“W-wait. I can’t leave my home- my mama. I need to tell her that I’m okay.” Bay sputtered worriedly. He had completely forgotten about his family. How long had he even been away?
Cepheus released a hiss that he tried to withhold. Obviously what his mate was saying was reasonable but he had been waiting so long- too long for his beloved. And he wasn’t letting anyone get in the way of that. Not even family.
Quickly he came up with something to get his mate to calm down and listen to him.
“It’s much too late to head back now my love. When you are well rested and fed we will go talk to your mother.”
Bay looked hesitant at his words and bit his lip in apprehension. As much as he wanted to return home now, he couldn’t hide the fact that the night’s events had mentally and physically exhausted him. He also wasn’t sure if the King was up to join him on his journey home and he was definitely not walking in the forest alone.
The choice he had to make was obvious.
“O-okay” Bay agreed finally.
“Excellent.” Cepheus murmured with a pleased grin.
“I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable earlier but since the night is only getting darker I would think it best to speed things up.” He offered with a tilt to his head.
Bay scrunched his brows confused. Were they going to run?
“How would we travel faster?”
Cepheus smirked in slight arrogance as he placed his hands on Bay’s hips.
In one swift movement he picked him up and sped off in the direction of his home.
Bay squealed as he seemed to fly by trees faster than his brain could process them.
His legs tightened around the King’s waist and his eyes squeezed shut.
In what felt like seconds the movement stopped and a large hand rubbed at his back.
“What was that?! Were we flying?” Bay questioned with wide eyes.
His heart was drumming against his chest and adrenaline flowed through his small body.
He pulled out of Cepheus’ hold with some protest from the vampire to get a better look at their surroundings.
Immediately, his excitement simmered and he cowered into the side of the King, regretting leaving his arms.
There were vampires everywhere, which made sense considering they were more nocturnal creatures. Although with Bay having never strayed from his home, he was easily overwhelmed by the mass.
“Don’t fret my love. They would rather impale themselves on a wooden stake than ever think to cross me.”
Cepheus whispered into the small boy’s pointed ear.
Bay shivered at his words and gripped the back of his shirt. No offence to the King but he wasn’t up to test that theory.
He followed the vampire as he entered the backdoor of his castle. Two guards were stationed at the entrance; the same pair that had watched their King take off earlier.
They gave the nymph a strange look but remained silent, bowing slightly as the Vampire passed.
“Wow.” Bay breathed in awe. His grip on Cepheus’ shirt loosened slightly.
He had only heard of castles in stories and the images he conjured in his mind didn’t come close to resembling the real thing.
“Is it magic?” The nymph asked in disbelief, releasing himself from Cepheus to wander the vicinity.
“Magic?” The King laughed, his eyes twinkling at ease.
Bay paused at the sound, a smile growing on his lips.
“Will you give me a tour?” He asked, although he was already wandering into another hallway, disappearing around a corner.
Bay gasped and Cepheus sped to his side, slightly frantic.
“What- what is it?” The vampire questioned, his hands running over the boy’s hair while turning him around in inspection.
“Oh, yes sorry” Bay blushed in embarrassment at his reaction. “These images, who are they?”
Cepheus gave Bay another once over before looking up to see that they were in the great hall.
“These are paintings of past successors. All of these vampires are of pure and royal blood.”
It dated back to even before Cepheus was born.
“Wow” Bay gasped again as he lifted his head to truly take in the history.
He continued walking down the hall until he was faced with the last painting. It was Cepheus.
Bay’s eyes widened when he saw that he had been the reigning sovereign for almost five thousand years.
As he examined the photo he couldn’t help but step back at the sheer dominance that exuded from the image. He was stood in a navy suit, his expression hard and demeaning.
But what had Bay the most surprised was the large black wings that sprouted from his back.
“You have wings?” Bay questioned in amazement.
He turned to his mate who was looking at him curiously, his back leaning against the opposite wall.
“Is that how we got here so fast? Did we really fly?!”
Cepheus smirked in amusement at the boy’s enthusiasm. His age seemed to show quite frequently, considering that he only just turned of age and Cepheus had been alive for milleniums.
“Only pure bred vampires are gifted with wings. All vampires though have the ability to travel at a speed that eyes cannot catch. That is how we got here so fast.”
The king couldn’t help but be boastful while describing himself and his species. Clearly his mate found them powerful and he was not going to pass on basking in the boy’s admiration.
“Will you show me them?” Bay asked, walking towards the taller man now that he was done with his exploration.
Cepheus cupped the boy’s face gingerly and caressed his cheek.
“After you get some rest.”
Bay furrowed his brows and pouted, not pleased with the answer.
“Why not now?” He whined, trying to back up and escape the vampire’s hold.
Cepheus tightened his grip on the boy’s jaw and leaned in, catching his bottom lip between his teeth. He gave it a slight tug before releasing, chuckling when the boy sucked in his lips with a blush.
“It’s late and you need to sleep. Nymph’s are hardly meant to be up at an hour this late. Now come.”
He said lowly, releasing the boy’s jaw to place his cool hand on the small of his back.
After, Bay followed wordlessly and distracted himself with his fingers, his face a heated mess.
As they climbed the flights of stairs to his chambres, Bay started to question why the area was so empty.
“Where is everyone?” He asked. The echo of his voice supporting his thoughts.
“I don’t generally like company. I tend to like my home quiet and mostly empty.” He mused.
Bay hummed in thought. He could never imagine himself living in such solitude. Back home, he was constantly in the sun and the water, surrounded by his family. How could anyone go without those things?
“Don’t you ever get lonely?” He wondered, his grey eyes boring holes into the taller vampire.
Cepheus faltered as they reached the top.
“Cepheus! Where the hell did you go?” A voice cut in.
Raphael rounded the corner at a meaningful pace. Once his eyes fell on the smaller nymphet beside his King he looked even more angry.
“Please tell me that this is a joke.” The blonde asked lowly.
Cepheus narrowed his eyes at his friend, almost daring him to continue.
"Don’t say anything stupid.” He warned with a low hiss.
Raphael rose a brow and flickered his eyes to the wide eyed boy, scrutinizing his appearance.
“Stop it. Stop looking at him.” Cepheus scowled, his eyes flashing red and his fangs lengthening to make his words sound with a hiss.
He stepped in front of the confused nymph, while Raphael simply stood there in contemplation.
“You found your beloved.” He murmured after a second of thought.
Cepheus clenched his jaw but bit his tongue.
“I’m Bay.” The small boy introduced, as it seemed like the man should at least know his name since they were talking about him.
Raphael hummed in curiosity and repeated the gesture.
“Raphael.” He smiled, his fangs making an appearance.
Bay giggled nervously and clutched at the fabric of Cepheus’ shirt.
“We’ll talk later.” Cepheus whispered as the two passed.
He closed the door to his chambers and finally, they were alone.