Chapter 1: The Beginning
The street was empty and silent. Even the leaves of the trees were barely moving, as if the air itself was holding its breath. If the alley was filled with neighbors, everyone could notice the lightning above Hertford Manor. The people living in the lane next to Atrickvic Street couldn’t hear the lightning; it was inaudible. The light would come and vanish in the blink of an eye. As if someone had a switch and was turning the light on and off repeatedly.
Besides, people in Rome preferred to mind their own business, so they wouldn’t look at the roof of other houses. And definitely not the manor belonging to Shier Hertford, the most well-known scientist in Italy and the owner of Atrickvic Street.
Grabbing a handful of dark brown hair, he watched Becca wince in pain. Tears didn’t seep out of her eyes; she had stopped crying when she resigned herself to her life with her abusive father. She often wished she could scream to the world, your favorite scientist is the worst father one could ever have.
“What is better? Tolerating your pain or screaming your lungs out?” Shier asked, still having a tight grip on Becca’s hair.
Becca wanted to scream her answer that ripping your soul out of your body is better. However, she kept quiet. If she replied so boldly, he might just kill her. She didn’t want to die at the tender age of eighteen. Despite the years of abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, she knew she had a better life ahead. Becca Hertford always had faith, and she never lost hope.
Shier released his grip on Becca’s hair. He grumbled, “Get out of my sight!”
Becca managed to get up from the floor where she was sitting and limped while making her way up the massive staircase. Her father had punished her greatly three days ago, which was why she was still limping in pain. Her room was the last door at the end of the hall and none of the servants had the audacity to help her by going against their master’s order.
After she opened the door of her room, a Maltese dog ran towards her barking happily. Becca picked the dog up in her arms, snuggling with the only person to love her unconditionally.
“I am okay, Seniha,” she mumbled to the dog.
She gingerly made her way to the balcony doors of her room, placing Seniha on the bed.
Glancing up at the roiling sky, Becca placed her hands on the railing and looked out at the storm. She could see the lightning above her, which stopped after a few seconds and the snowfall started.
Becca opened her arms, letting the snow feather across her skin. The snowfall was not only above her house, it was happening everywhere. She was in tune with the uniqueness of the environment.
Each time Becca was abused, which was almost every day, she would come to the balcony. Whenever the snow would touch her skin, it would automatically heal her wounds. It was as if nature cured her with its own tender caress.
“At least the environment loves me,” she mumbled and closed her eyes, still enjoying the fresh snow. Becca loved talking to herself, just allowing her thoughts to drift freely on the wind. “Just a few days, Becca. In three days, you will be going to university. You will be free from Shier Hertford, and you will get a new life. A life with no drama.”
Becca couldn’t wait to escape the torturous clutches of her father. All she hoped for was a better life than the baseless existence she was living right now. She got herself enrolled at the University of Rome. She was supposed to move into the dorm. Becca was excited about her new life, unaware of the upcoming problem where she was the catalyst for change.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, where no human beings knew about the parallel universe, lived the vampires. Phil Insworthe was waiting for his younger brother, Alexander as he was sitting on the sofa tapping his foot impatiently. He checked the time on his watch, for what seemed like the hundredth time, wondering what was taking Alexander so long.
Soon, a pale-skinned guy entered the room. He was wearing a long black coat, which reached down to his knee along with a pair of black shining shoes. He looked over at his elder brother.
“Did you call me, Phil?” he asked in a raspy voice.
“Yes,” answered Phil and gestured to Alexander to sit next to him. He plopped down next to him. Phil could smell the metallic scent of fresh human blood coming from Alexander. “Were you in the human world hunting again?”
Alexander chuckled in response.
“Alex, if you continue to act so recklessly, it will be dangerous for us to survive. Why can’t you drink the blood of animals instead of a human?”
Alexander leaned his head back on the couch and allowed his eyes to slide closed, “I cannot help my cravings. Nothing can beat the delicious taste of human blood.”
Phil heaved a sigh. It was pointless to try and reason with Alexander. He loved human blood and that was the only reason he was not allowed to go to the human world like other vampires. But having his own brother as a leader of the vampires, Alexander knew that Phil wouldn’t say anything to him or punish him.
“Whatever. I want to talk to you about something.” Alexander gave his attention to Phil, who continued, “I am the leader of the vampires, but I am still not the official king.”
“You are. Did anyone say differently? Who was it? Just tell me their name and I’ll —”
A smile appeared on Phil’s lips as he interrupted Alexander and said, “Calm down for a second, no one told me that. Can anyone dare to say that with you by my side?”
“So? You are the king and everyone is okay with it.”
“Alex, I need to be a king officially. After the war between the vampires, no one was elected to be the king. There was always someone in charge, but no one became the king.”
“That’s because no one had the ability to gather our kind together like you,” retorted Alexander.
Phil ran a hand through his black hair as he let out a sigh. “There is a way for me to be the king officially, and only you can help me.”
Alexander arched an eyebrow. “And how can I do that?”
“Pristine said that there is a potion out in the human world. If you can get that potion for me, I will become the first king of the vampires and attain all the powers a king should have. Everyone will call me the king,” answered Phil. His two different eye colors, one blue and the other one green, were getting darker at the thought of unadulterated power.
“And may I know where that potion is?” inquired Alexander.
“It is with a girl. Pristine will give you all the details. You just have to bring the potion from her as soon as possible and —”
“No, no, no,” Alexander stood up, mumbling to himself. “I won’t interact with a human, then add insult to injury by having to stay in the human world. I hate doing that, and you know, I cannot control the urge to drink their blood.”
Getting up, Phil placed a hand on Alexander’s arm. He said, “Please, Alex. No one else is trustworthy in this case. Especially when it is a matter of being the first king. If I assign the task to someone else, they may stab me in the back.”
“Why can’t you assign this task to Vanessa? She lives amongst humans, for God’s sake!” Alexander groused.
“I don’t want to drag Vanessa into this. Knowing how she is, she will act like a crazy person at one point and ruin everything. She is always chirpy.” Phil continued, “Besides, I know you won’t screw up. You will do anything for me, come hell or high water. You won’t disappoint me. You are the only person I can entrust this task to, Alex.”
Alexander groaned. He hated the thought of talking to a human for a purpose other than slaking his thirst. Every time he talked to a person, he would end up having a delightful meal.
“If you don’t want to do this, it’s okay. I will always be a leader for the vampires. Someone else, whoever claims the potion may become the king and take over later,” Phil told Alexander with a sad smile.
Alexander spoke up at that instant, “No, Phil. Only you will become the king. I won’t let anyone else take your place. You are the rightful owner of the throne.”
“Does this mean you will do it?” Phil raised his brows.
Alexander thought for a while before responding, “Yes, I will go to the human world and bring the potion back for you.”
Phil sat back on the divan as a tidal wave of relief crashed over him. He had nothing else to worry about anymore. Knowing Alexander, he would do anything to bring the vampire potion for his brother.
“I will bring you the potion. You have my oath,” Alexander said in a promising tone, meaning each and every word. “Goodbye, brother.”
He walked out of the room and headed to Pristine’s room. Pristine Grace was the only one who had all the information about vampires and humans. She was a well-known informant in the vampire world.
“Seeing the sulking look on your face, I assume you are here for more details on the potion,” Pristine said, noticing Alexander standing at the corner of her room.
He rolled his eyes, not bothering to answer her.
Pristine handed a folder to Alexander, which he took within a second. He opened the file and saw a picture of a beautiful and simple girl. The thing which intrigued Alexander was her stormy grey eyes, which told a story he couldn’t comprehend.
He murmured, “What does this simple-looking girl have?”
Pristine replied, ”The vampire potion.”
Alexander couldn’t believe that she had the potion. By looking at her, anyone could feel that she had experienced an easy and happy life.
Then again, if someone had a special potion, that person would try to look like the most normal civilian to avoid raising suspicion.
“Is this all you have about her?” inquired Alexander as he finished reading all the pertinent information.
“Yes. If I find something else, I will inform you,” answered Pristine.
Alexander nodded and headed towards the Bellmor jungle, the only place which connected the vampire realm with the human world. “Here I come, Becca Hertford.”