Korinna found the basement door after she left the dining area. It sat at the end of the opposite hall, unguarded. When she reached it, Korinna swung the door open and headed down the steps, entering the long hallway filled with cells. It was typical of the coven to hold prisoners in those rooms, but not so typical to have vampires guard a specific door.
Korinna smiled as she approached the two vampires, who shared a look of discomfort as she stopped before them, flashing a pearly smile.
“You’re not supposed to be down here, Succubus.” One of them, a blonde and lanky vampire, crossed his arms and moved in front of the door, hiding the window from Korinna’s view.
“We’ll leave this little secret between us,” Korinna said. “That okay, doll?”
“Conner said—” the other vampire insisted.
“Conner says a lot of things, but it’s mostly just shit,” Korinna said. “Lemme at least peek at the psycho.”
The two once again shared an uneasy look. Korinna stepped into the blonde’s space, pushing out her boobs with a cross of her arms. His eyes looked down and glazed over as enchantment took ahold of him.
“Can I please look?” She asked and licked her lips. His wide stare went up to them, watching as she ran her tongue over the soft skin of her bottom lip, and his jaw dropped with his fangs slowly peeking from their sheaths.
“Knock it off, Succubus.” The other vampire stepped toward her and gripped her arm to move her from his partner.
Korinna turned her hypnotic stare on him and yanked his hand from her arm, bringing it to her chest, where she laid his hand on the soft valley of her breasts.
The vampire’s mouth hung open as his eyes too glazed over with the enchantment.
“I’m going to take a look now,” Korinna said and moved away from the vampires. They stood in their stupor as they fell entirely into her spell.
Korinna stood on her tip toes and put her full face into the glass. Her eyes widened at the room before her.
The cot sat overturned against the far wall. The creature inside paced, as dangerous as a caged and starving panther with nearly all of his covered with blood.
He turned to the door, catching Korinna’s stare. His pupils dilated into small pins. Around his irises were wide crimson rings—wider than she had ever seen in a vampire’s eyes.
The vampire licked his own lips and grinned. “You are a very talented creature, Korinna.”
Korinna pursed her lips. The vampire had heard everything outside of the door. That was not surprising, for the vampires were rather loud and she hadn’t bothered to keep her actions quiet—though she wondered where he heard her name. It was possible that the vampires were gossiping again, ignorant of the fact that the psychotic creature would pick up on everything they said.
She flashed him a small smile and was prepared to move away from the door when he spoke again.
“You don’t seem to fit that well into this clan. Not just because you are not a vampire,” Isaac said as he drew near. “You do what you can to get what you want—just like me.”
“I don’t kill people,” Korinna replied.
“I’m sure you would if you were forced into that situation.”
Isaac was close enough that Korinna could see that his eyes weren’t just black and red, but rather the colors of a forest settled under a sky overcast. His eyes only seemed so dark because of the contrast of his opaque skin and bloodied attire. Through the matted blood, she could see strands of dark blonde on his head.
Korinna pulled away from the door and hesitated. She came for what she wanted: a peek at the cause of the madness in the vampire clan. Now, she had no idea what to do next.
But something held her there. Isaac seemed to wait for her. He hadn’t moved, which she found out by taking a second to peer through the window. Isaac smiled.
“Do you need something?” He asked, calm and collected.
Korinna frowned and backed up from the windowed door. She couldn’t believe for a moment that there was an actual debate in her head on whether or not she should bite his bait.
The vampires behind her fell in and out of their trance. If she left then, they wouldn’t remember her visit and Korinna could go back to dawdling and fucking shit up around the estate.
But her curiosity made her stay.
Korinna turned away. She could feel Isaac’s stare through the window as she moved to the two vampires, who slumped against the wall on the floor.
They clutched their heads, moaning as the dizziness of the spell took effect.
“Boys,” Korinna said, adding extra sweet spice to her tone. “Calm down, please. I need to speak with the scary man.”
The vampires did as they were instructed and dropped their hands from their heads. Their expression emptied into a blank slate and tension disappeared from their bodies as they relaxed against each other.
Korinna then turned back to the door, peered through the glass for the third time, and was met with the close proximity of Isaac Castro. Though there was glass between them, the two were only a few inches apart.
The closer Korinna was, the more gruesome the appearance of Isaac looked.
He really needed a bath, she thought.
“Who exactly are you?” Isaac asked as he took a step back.
“Didn’t you hear my name?” Korinna crossed her arms.
“Yes, but that’s not what I meant.”
“Oh.” Korinna cleared her throat. “I’m a half-breed orphan. Dante took me in when I was eight.”
She nodded and pursed her lips. “So…uh…why did you kill people?”
Isaac blinked and said, “They were in the way of what I wanted.”
“Why didn’t you find some other way around to get it? You didn’t have to kill people for it.”
“But I did.” Isaac grinned and turned his back to the door.
Korinna frowned. All the vampires she knew were all about reform, morality, and structure. That might be because of Dante, who preached those values and broke the stereotypes of vampires.
But Isaac—he seemed to mold his own stereotype.
“I’ve never met a succubus before,” he said as tapped his finger on his chin and thought. “How exactly does your magic work?”
“It’s illusion magic,” Korinna said. “It targets the emotions and senses and influences a fake feeling and memory.”
“That’s fascinating.” Isaac turned back to her. “When did your abilities begin to grow?”
“When I turned thirteen,” Korinna replied. The questioning started to get on her nerves. “It’s when every borne supernatural grows into their power, you know.”
“Yes, I do know that.” Isaac smiled, which made him look more deranged than polite.
Korinna raised an eyebrow at him. “Were you something before you Turned?”
“I was the head of the sorcerers’ coven in this town a hundred years ago.” Isaac huffed. “But then I became a vampire.”
“Oh,” Korinna breathed. Aside from Valeria, she hadn’t met a sorcerer before. In her opinion, they weren’t peculiar enough and appeared just as weak as humans.
Or maybe that was just with the particular case of Valeria Castro…
“How do you know Dante?” Korinna asked. It was an innocent enough question. From all the gossiping around the clan’s estate, she learned that Isaac and Dante knew each other back when Dante was a human, and wondered about their past.
Isaac’s eyes narrowed, his lips turned, and he said, “We’ve dabbled in some drama once upon a time.”
“And why does it matter now?”
“Because he was the one that sentenced me to that cage.” Isaac clenched his teeth and crossed his arms.
“And so you break out…to get your revenge?” Korinna wondered aloud.
Isaac grimaced. “If that is what you would like to call it.” He then turned back to pacing and diverted the conversation’s focus back on Korinna. “What exactly are you doing here with these vampires, succubus? You’re now old enough to move out of this place. Why stay?”
“I’m practically living like a princess,” she replied. “I get whatever I want and whoever I want—”
“Uh-uh.” Isaac tapped his chin. “You want…Dante, don’t you? Or so I heard.”
“That’s debatable.” Korinna scowled. She didn’t like where the topic was going. Whatever Isaac was trying to do; she wasn’t going to let it work.
So she glanced over her shoulder at the dazed guard vampires and huffed. “Whatever, I’m going.”
Isaac went to the windowed door and watched as she stepped around the fallen vampires and headed toward the stairs. He wasn’t finished with her quite yet, as he had a plan.
“Wait,” Isaac called out to her.
Korinna stopped, turned around, and raised her eyebrows in apprehension. Her hands settled on her hips. “What?”
“You want to defy Dante?” He asked. “Get me some new clothes and some water to scrub myself.”
“And why would I do that?”
Isaac thought for a moment. “Well…I would, of course, have some type reward for you.”
“I’m not releasing you.”
“That’s not what I asked.” Bitch. Isaac refrained from losing his composure. “I just need to wash up.”
“The others wouldn’t do that for you?” Korinna now crossed her arms, not impressed by his offer.
Isaac mulled over another plan of attack. From the gossiping of his guards to the way she reacted when Isaac mentioned Dante, he knew that she both wanted Dante and was upset with him. This succubus girl was both naïve and pretentious for thinking she could get Dante to bend to her will, just as everyone else did.
Especially since Valeria was awake too.
“Do this and I’ll help you seduce Dante.”
Korinna froze. What? Help her seduce? She didn’t need help. Korinna was a succubus, for God’s sake!
But Isaac had known Dante a hundred years ago—and vampires didn’t age…
Korinna frowned and mulled over his offer. Breaking out Isaac would just piss Dante off, but if she helped the crazy vampire, then Isaac might tell her something about Dante that could be used to her advantage.
“I’ll think about it,” Korinna said, then turned on her heels to leave. She headed to the stairs and disappeared, leaving Isaac with the stupefied vampires.
“Bitch,” Isaac cursed under his breath.
Rage overcame him as he gripped his cot by its legs and thrusted it against the cell door. The noise shook his guards out of their stupor.
They pushed themselves to their feet and clutched their heads, groaning through the dizziness.
“What’s his problem?” One of them muttered.
The other vampire shrugged and slapped the door’s window, slurring, “Shut up, psycho.”
That fucking succubus.
Isaac ignored his guards and started to pace once more, hissing under his breath a string of obscenities.
It was then decided that Isaac would kill Korinna when given the opportunity.
To learn that she was obsessed with Dante was mindboggling to Isaac. There was no way someone could love a creature that would betray the ones that loved him first.
The thought of Dante only angered him further. He wondered about his sister, who was somewhere in the estate above him.
How was Valeria doing? Did she meet with Dante? Did they fight? Did Dante hurt her—or say something that would break her heart further?
Isaac howled as he dropped to his knees. His head fell into his hands. He wanted out of this cell now, so that he could kill Dante and save his sister. The past reeled on repeat in his mind and now that he was alone, it consumed him.
A small sliver of him, somewhere past the vengeful bent inside, Isaac wished things would return to the way they were before the night Dante found out their secret.