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Eighteen years ago a couple had a daughter. She was their greatest joy. Shortly after her birth the Earl of the region called for all the women on his land to be presented to him. No one ever knew what prompted the ruler to come down from his castle. All we knew was that the outcome would be that a women would be selected as a sacrifice.
It was a mystery what the Earl looked for in a sacrifice. In the past he had chosen both young and old, beautiful and ugly. On this particular selection day an infant caught his eye. The parents begged the Earl to not take their child from them. The Earl would not concede, but permitted the parents to keep the child until her eighteenth birthday, then she would be sent to his castle.
No one knew what happened to those women that were brought to the Earl’s castle, only that they never returned. The child’s parents decided that they could not lose their precious daughter. Fortunately for them, my mother was pregnant with me, their second daughter. I was born to take my sister’s, place as the sacrifice to the Earl Elijah Belemoux.
My sister had turned eighteen two days ago. First my parents tried to ignore the summons in hopes that their daughter had been forgotten. This morning a servant had come down demanding the sacrifice be brought to his lordship. My family immediately went into action to prepare me for the trip.
The clothes were some of the finest that I had ever worn. My hair had been brushed for the first time in ages. It was my first time ever being allowed to touch make up, let alone wear it. None of these things made me happy. This was just an attempt to make me more beautiful, more delectable, in the hopes that they’re trickery went unnoticed. I held little hope of that happening. I would be found out as soon as I was seen.
My family gave me a goodbye that was clearly an act. My mother cried, and my father gave me a tight hug. My sister said she wished she could take my place; using our last moments together to insult my existence. I was loaded into a fine carriage and left the only home that I had ever known.
I had made the decision long ago to accept whatever fate was in store for me. Regardless of what happened to me this night, I would never return to that town. That isn’t to say I wasn’t afraid. There was much for me to be afraid of. How angry would the Earl be when he realized he had been sent the wrong girl? Even more terrifying to think was if he fell for the trick. What did he intend for my sister? The ruling aristocracy were vampires after all. Lord Belemoux was no exception.
I was alone in the carriage, the silence was unbearable. Deciding I needed fresh air I moved the carriage’s curtain to opened a window. The cool breeze danced past my face breathing a new air into the carriage.
My actions caught the attention of one of the guards escorting the carriage. For a moment I thought he was going to scold me. I smiled at him hoping that he would leave me be. He ended up turning away and not saying anything. I was relieved, I didn’t want my last moments to be in a stuffy carriage.
We arrived at the castle. A guard hurried over to help me down the step of the carriage. I had never been subject to such chivalry. At least my final day had moments that made me feel like I was special. I was escorted into the castle. A guard knocked on a door asking for permission to enter. A smooth, deep voice called out saying that we could enter.
I nervously followed the two guards inside. It was clear who Earl Belemoux was. He was sitting at a large desk looking through some documents. Another man was standing near him holding a folder of other files. The Earl looked up and our eyes met. His silver eyes made my blood freeze.
I’m not sure how he figured it out, but it was clear that he knew I was not the girl he had selected as his sacrifice. He signed a paper, handed it to the man next to him and then sent everyone out of the room; except for me. The Lord looked at me like he was assessing me.
“Whose idea was it?” He spoke up.
“I’m sorry sir?” I first tried to play like I didn’t know what he was talking about. He slammed his hand down on his desk.
“Who foolishly thought they could send you rather than my sacrifice.”
“I am your sacrifice...”
“You are not the one I chose.” I could practically hear his teeth grinding.
“No, I am not the one you chose. None the less, I am your sacrifice. I was born only to be given to you. My existence is solely for you my lord.” My hands started to shake.
I was afraid that what I had said would give him reason to kill me more violently. I still looked him in the eye. I was afraid of what he could do, but I refused to be afraid of death. He leaned back in his chair.
“Interesting,” he seemed amused, “you are the first one to not beg for your life. Not to mention be brave enough to show such insolence.”
“That wasn’t my intention my lord.” I bowed my head. He seemed to be in a good mood so I wanted to keep it that way with my apology. My head shot back up when I heard him get up from his seat. He started to approach me.
My legs wanted to run, but I stood strong. He was nearly a head taller than me. I had to tilt my head up to continue looking him in the eye. I instinctively flinched when his hand moved to push some hair away from my face.
“Disgusting...” was all he said. He called maids in and told them to dress me for dinner. I was escorted out of the room by two women without him taking a second glance at me.