I lie on my bed, tired but restless. I didn’t want to sleep. In fact, I really wanted to do something. I felt so helpless and annoyed. I was annoyed at Darrius, I was annoyed at myself. I wanted to know what was wrong with Darrius. I wanted to know his secrets.
After I lay down for several minutes debating my plan of action, I make a snap decision and jump back up. Before I leave, I’m sick of wearing my navy blue dress and decide to change. I find some clothes hiding in the wardrobe opposite the bed. I choose the simplest and plainest pieces of clothing. A red tank top and a short black skirt. That should do it.
After changing and then finding a simple pair of small black heels to go with the outfit, I also find a brush to tackle the knots that have inevitable formed in my curly black hair. I tug out all the knots until my hair reaches just below my shoulders. I always wanted longer hair, but the locks of thick black curls made it hard to grow fast. Any length was taken away by the way my hair curled. I liked my hair, it wasn’t too curly but just perfect, framing my face and big blue eyes. They weren’t the same blue as Darrius’ though, my eyes were a lighter colour.
I check over my appearance in a full length mirror on one of the walls and I take a good look at my neck. It looked like there had never been a wound, like I had never been bitten. As much as Darrius infuriated me with his evil smirks and constant aura of arrogance, I wanted to try. I wanted to try and make things work for us, to see if he could open up to me more.
I walk out confidently, determined to find Darrius. The first vampire I see in the hall I stop and ask for his whereabouts and they immediately suggest the weapons room which was down a level and one of the first doors to the right. I know Darrius and Claudia thought it was a good idea for me to stay with one of them while being escorted around the palace but not all vampires could be bad. Like Darrius said, some can be good. The one I just talked to didn’t show me much interest and simply gave me directions. I was off to a good start so far.
I walk down a wooden staircase to the level below and go to the first door on my right. As soon as I open it I enter a massive room, each wall fitted with all sorts of weapons. In the middle of the room Darrius is fighting another vampire with red-gold hair. I can only see the side of the vampire I have never seen before but I can already see he is well muscled like Darrius. They were both wearing black leather pants. Neither take notice of me as I close the door quietly and look towards a small bench underneath some hanging weapons. I decide to sit there and wait for them to finish.
Both hold a knife each, swinging and dodging each other with graceful vampire speed and strength. Darrius manages to cut a small wound on the other vampire’s cheek but at the same time, the other vampire nicks Darrius’ side. Both stumble away from each other, laughing. As Darrius turns to face back to his friend, his eyes sweep over me sitting on the thin bench. He freezes, the smile vanishes from his face.
“Jennifer,” he says quietly, coldly, “Why are you here?” I cross my arms over my chest, feeling more confident now that I had a plan. I shrug at him just as his friend turns to take in who I am.
“I wanted to see what you were doing. I wanted to explore a bit too, I’m dead bored of following orders from everyone else. I’m choosing to do what I want now. If I’m stuck here I may as well have some fun,” I explain simply. A dark look crosses over his eyes.
“Who is this beautiful lady?” The other man drawls, his voice even deeper than Darrius’.
“Who are you?” I ask back with a hint of annoyance. This guy looked interested in me with one glance. I wanted to deal with Darrius, not another vampire as well!
“I’m Maximus, darling, Max for short, who are you?” he repeats, an intense stare is directed at me as he waits for my answer.
“Darrius said my name before,” I snap, “Didn’t you hear him?”
“I just wanted to hear it from your pretty little mouth,” Max drawls, smiling dangerously.
“She’s mine,” Darrius hisses at his friend, “Back off,” Darrius starts towards me and I glare at him.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“I’m taking you back to your room, where you should be right now,” I stand up to protest but when I see he isn’t slowing his approach I dodge to the side and try to run away but he easily catches me. He spins me around, grabs my waist, and throws me over his shoulder like I am a sack of potatoes.
“No!” I yell, as he starts stalking towards the exit, “Damn you, Darrius!” I wriggle and squirm to no avail, in fact, all it does is make my short black skirt ride up my thighs. I look to see Maximus having his fill of my butt. Darrius opens the door and I make one last effort to get out of his grip but he just smacks a hand over my ass and I hear Maximus’ uproar of laughter from inside the weapons room as I curse loudly and Darrius shuts the door.
“Stop squirming,” he snaps, hand still resting on my ass.
“Get your hands off me then!” I yell, beyond pissed. His hand leaves my butt and I hit his back, to garner no reaction at all. He hardly notices the contact, “I just wanted to get to know you better!” Darrius starts taking me up the stairs and pauses when he hears me say the last part. However he quickly resumes taking me back to his room.
“It’s not safe for you out here, you need to rest,” he says more quietly.
“But you said I could be out here with you, why couldn’t I stay in the weapons room?” I ask.
“How did you find out where I was?” He counters.
“I asked a vampire passing down the hall –”
“You what?” He snarls, “Do you know how dangerous that is? They can still kill you by snapping your neck, they don’t have to go for the throat.”
“I’m not dead,” I say, “So relax, please!” We’ve reached his room and he opens the door and strides in.
“But you could have been killed, the vampires here aren’t used to your presence yet. Until they are, you are staying in here the majority of the time,” he takes me into my room and dumps me on the bed. I lean up, resting back on my hands.
“Who is Maximus?” I ask.
“Stay away from him,” Darrius says darkly, “He likes to chase pretty girls,” He turns to leave and then pauses. He turns back to face me.
“Sweetheart,” he says, his voice is even more quiet, “Don’t try and change me, and don’t defy me again,” I gape at him in confusion as he stalks out of my room. I hear him leave his own room next as he shuts the door and a lock clicks into place. Damn it!
What did he mean, don’t try to change him? Could he read my thoughts, and know that I wanted to see deeper into him, to figure out if he could act as a better person, if I could bring that side out of him some more? I had seen glimpses of a more compassionate side from him.
If he did guess my plan to seek out his good side, he had successfully stopped me from trying for now.