Chapter 1 DEATH DAY
They always had a feast this time of the year. The New Year carnival drew plenty of tourists to the area, especially those escaping the cold winters. The main attraction to the Corcovado Mountains was the Christo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer. (He always thought the Conselho was after the irony, people losing their lives at the feet of the redeemer.) Although the statue of Christ was visible from afar, they could always count on the human’s curiosity or love of art to come closer. The Conselho had built their fortress at the peak of the mountain centuries ago, the humans assumed it was part of the statue. Where they could pray and seek solace at Jesus’ feet.
During the day they feasted on the curious and religious and at night the lovers. The beaches of Rio were a romantic hot spot. They knew they would find several couples snuggling on the Copacabana beach. Unsuspecting lovers who thought life could not get much better.
They weaved through the streets chasing after their own. The Conselho authority had been challenged by a rebel society. They posed a danger to the order of power, in the governance of the immortals. He stood with his second and third in command flanking him. Leo and Rick were the only immortals he trusted. Stephan watched as his men caught their targets one by one. They had orders to immediately execute them. A sudden change of allegiance or surrender was not to be taken into account. There were no second chances.
He stood over their burning corpses, a sneer on his face. He stopped feeling when he was turned into the creature he was now. A soulless monster, there was no turning back, so he embraced his new role in the world and did what was expected of him.
As they tracked some of the vampires to the far border of the Ipanema beaches, he spotted a female. She did not look human, she had to be a vampire. Considering she was on their territory he assumed just as much.
No other supernatural creature was allowed to cross into their land. A war would be declared because of it. It was their way of ensuring their safety and power. Any other creature that was not their own was a threat to be eliminated at sight.
She was beautiful as the night light danced around her curves. She had her hands stretched out and was spinning around. He was taken by her and her childish like manner. She played in the water, running into the crashing waves and letting them engulf her. He abandoned his men and stepped forward to watch her, no one questioned him. No one ever dared, he was capable of merciless things, and because of that fear, and his men never questioned him. When she spotted him, she stood still and stared at him. They looked at each other for a while, and then he broke the connection and headed back to the coven. She occupied his thoughts through to the next night. His dazed stares into mid-air weren’t missed. At the council meeting, the other vampires could tell he was distracted.
Marquis was the only one to ask, she held favour with him and he with her. Even with this closeness, he couldn’t tell her about the lady of the moon. And though she tried to use other means she could never penetrate through the wall of his secret.
He went back to the beach that night hoping to see her again, but she was never there. He went every night vowing to himself to take every chance he had to go there. He often delegated the command of his men to Leo. He knew he could trust him to make wise decisions. Relieved from his military duty he came up with excuses to miss the council meetings. He kept up with the disappearance’s night after night, avoiding Marquis suspicious glances. She did not believe the lie he fed the other elders, but there was nothing she could do about it.
Stephan walked to the ends of the Ipanema beach crossing into the Copacabana beach. He paid no attention to the humans rolling around in the sand or playing in the water. Usually, he would feed them thirsty or not. He did it because he could. Tonight, torturing them did not appeal to him, he had to find the female.
It had been a few weeks he was about to give up when he saw her. She was playing with the human children in the water. This was absurd to him, but it only made her all the more beautiful. She seemed to love being amongst the human children, she was happy. Her smile touched the empty cave he called his heart. Unlike all the other vampires his heartbeat in his chest. He wasn’t an ordinary vampire. He made his way to her, careful not to frighten the children who brought her joy. She was very cautious of him, but she let him join her in the water. He watched her as she protectively took the children to the rest of the humans, he assumed to be their parents. When she came back, he connected with her in a way he never thought possible.
That night their romance began and continued until...