Manerium de Muerte

Manerium de Muerte

Living with royalty sounds like a dream, especially when none of them are wed, right? Wrong. The Santiago siblings are vampires and the human servants they have acquired are in for a dark surprise.

5,590 readers have visited this universe since Tales of the Wraith created it. stealthpanther, and Stiles are listed as curators.

Introduction

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Before there were cars and cell phones, there were carriages and letters. In the famous castle, Manerium de Muerte, Five Vampiric brothers reside. They are the princes of a land known as Asmaria. This isn't on any of your maps, so don't bother looking it up. Asmaria is a large country on an Earth-like planet called Abreonia. Abreonia is located in an entirely different galaxy and has two large continents, Abreonia and Asmaria. The Princes live in the capital of Asmaria known as Azbidaul in a secluded castle. In Asmaria, vampires hide, keeping themselves a secret from the humans they co-exist with. They do their best to live peacefully, but it is a struggle. Asmaria is the larger of the two continents and has a plethora of species. Vampires, Werewolves, Sirens, Witches, Humans, the diversity never ends, and it is a prosperous and beautiful land. However, in the neighboring continent, Eskye, life is not so pleasant. There is a hierarchy, and it consists of only the strongest supernatural beings. Humans and the weaker supernaturals often starve and there is a lot of violence, murder, and rape. It is not a pleasant place to live, but the poor have no means to escape across the sea.

Four human girls are sent to work at Manerium de Muerte as maids. Their families are paid well, more than provided for. The maids are fed the finest dishes, given beautiful clothes and are provided residence within the castle in rooms fit for a princess, but they weren't informed of the vampiric heritage of the gentlemen of the house or of their true 'duty'. Some of their parents write others don't. Will love or fear spread among the Castle? The catch? The girls are under a lifetime contract, will they survive their service? Not to mention there is some dark magic after the castle. Centuries of preparing for revenge has led to the events to come. The Santiago family, as royals, have made many enemies over the centuries and now the witches and warlocks that resided on the land hundreds of years ago are finally prepared to make them pay the price. Will innocent lives be lost or is Manerium de Muerte ready for this new terror that threatens their lifestyle?

So you want to learn about Vampires...?

They can hear from a couple of miles away, but certain interferences can block their abilities. Running water such as a nearby spring, or just noise, in general, can distract them from their intended eavesdropping if they aren't focused enough.

Vampires are Immortal, but not impervious. Garlic in large amounts or when highly concentrated can prove very deadly for vampires. Basically, they become so weak that they do not have the energy to actively feed and restore their strength; thus they slowly starve to death over time if not supplied with fresh blood.

As a vampire grows older, their abilities improve. They sometimes even develop advanced capabilities such as compulsion, flight, or even invisibility. All of these abilities are practically useless when used against another vampire or werewolf, but humans and witches/warlocks are highly susceptible.

A vampire can go up to two weeks without feeding, longer if they sustain themselves on animal blood, but when a vampire swears off of human blood they have to feed much more frequently and they are at a severe disadvantage in strength compared to other vampires and werewolves. If a vampire neglects to feed, they go into a craze, feeding on and unfortunately killing anything or anyone with a pulse until they are replenished.

When a vampire bites a human, there are three different kinds of bites:

Rough, Rushed, and Cruel
A rough feeding would leave two torn puncture wounds, a little irregular in shape and severe bruising around them. They would need immediate care, else the victim might bleed to death if left on their own. Only young, cruel, or angry vampires feed this way. It is painful for the victim and the marks will stay for nearly a month before completely disappearing. Being fed a vampire's blood will completely heal the wound within minutes.

Normal
This is how most vampires feed. Two clean puncture wounds and mild bruising may occur. It will need to be bandaged up, but the bandages can be removed after several hours. Usually scabs over within the day. The wound should be relatively healed within four to five days, and will completely disappear within a week or two. It is pleasurable for the victim and the vampire, very euphoric. Being fed a vampire's blood will completely heal the wound within seconds.

Gentle
When a vampire cares for the victim, they may occasionally feed this way. Also a favorite among Human x Vampire relationships due to the fact that in the vampire's code, it is a symbol that they have 'branded' a human as theirs and forbids other vampires from feeding on that human. This kind of bite is less used for feeding and more so used to ward off other vampires. This is just two shallow teeth marks paired with a hickey rather than bruises in the shape of the vampire's other teeth (see rough bite). Blood is drawn, but trauma to the skin is minimal. Marks are gone within about three days, no first aid necessary. Though for cleanliness, dab until bleeding stops. Extremely euphoric, if done properly. Feeding on vampire blood does nothing to remove this mark.

!!Remember!!

In Asmaria There ARE:

Showers
Toilets
Sinks
Stoves
Microwaves
Refrigerators
Light bulbs
Electricity

In Asmaria there are NO:
Cars
Planes
Cellphones
Computers
TV's
Radios
Motorcycles

As this is a REBOOT, the major changes from the PREVIOUS Saga are here:

1) To avoid invention and timeline issues, this will not take place on Earth anymore, just an Earth-like planet. The planet name, Abreonia and the country's name would be Asmaria. Only two countries, but they're huge... the other country would be Eskye, but that country isn't very important yet, so details haven't been hashed out.

2) The Santiago brothers are pureblood vampires, and also princes. The first one to marry becomes the King since their parents are dead, but before any of the boys can become King, they have to have an heir (nearly impossible for vampires, given their parentage issues, but not unheard of.

3) They will live in an actual castle, but all of their other staff are vampires to keep their secret hidden. The maids will be the only humans and their personal maids, only cleaning the room of the prince they are assigned to and no longer cook meals.

4) The girls still share the same corridor as the princes, but are all on the far Eastern wing, while the princes are to the far West.

5) The planet has modern plumbing, modern electricity, and old fashioned appliances (Gas Stove, older model Microwaves, Ice-box Refrigerators) but there are NO phones, cars, television, or other forms of media. Clothing is somewhere between MODERN CLOTHES of today, and VICTORIAN. At formal occasions, women are expected to wear fancy ball gowns. Women are not permitted to wear PANTS, but any length of dress or skirt is allowed.

6) Supernatural beings are feared in this land, but everyone knows they exist. Everyone keeps their opinion to themselves as it is a taboo discussion. No one wants to frighten the children, especially since they do not know how to kill or identify a vampire. Many humans and vampires have been killed in the witch-hunts to identify and eradicate them.

7) The Santiago brothers all have enchanted rings that allow them to walk in the daytime without discomfort. They have their family crest engraved in them, in various colors and each wears their ring on a different hand/finger.

8) Each pureblooded vampire may have ONE extraordinary ability. examples: Telekinesis, Precognition, Telepathy, Shapeshifting, Illusion, or Invisibility.

9) There are mythical creatures in the woods including: Kelpies, Dwarves, Griffens, Giants, Trolls, Unicorns, Elves, Fairies, Gnomes, Kitsune, Nymphs

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Eldest Santiago Brother // Age: 20 // Face Claim: Shu Sakamaki // Name: // OPEN!!

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Second Eldest Santiago Brother // Age: 19 // Face Claim: Subaru Sakamaki // Name: Arik Santiago
TAKEN BY RHAGE!!


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Adopted Santiago Brother // Age: 19 // Face Claim: Reiji Sakamaki // Name: Damian Santiago //
TAKEN BY STILES!!


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Eldest Santiago Twin // Age: 18 // Face Claim: Ayato Sakamaki // Name: Bishop Santiago //
TAKEN BY STEALTHPANTHER!!


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Younger Santiago Twin // Age: 18 // Face Claim: Ayato Sakamaki // Name: Demetri Santiago //
TAKEN BY TALES OF THE WRAITH!!


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Little Sister // Age: 18 // Face Claim: IA (Vocaloid) // Name: Maleah Santiago //
TAKEN BY MAEMAE!!

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Younger Twin // Age: // Face Claim: Eru Chitanda // Name: Aeliya Antolin //
TAKEN BY TALES OF THE WRAITH!!


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Older Twin // Age: // Face Claim: Reina Kousaka// Name: Alice Antolin //
TAKEN BY STILES!!


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Butler // Age: // Face Claim: Syo Kurusu // Name: // OPEN!!

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Maid // Age: // Face Claim: Sayuri Haruno // Name: // OPEN!!

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Maid // Age: // Face Claim: Chisaki Hiradaira // Name: // OPEN!!

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Maid // Age: // Face Claim: Momoi Satsuki // Name: Tanzy McNeal //
TAKEN BY STEALTHPANTHER!!


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Main Hall

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Corridors (Without all the broken stuff!)

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Dining Hall

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Drawing Room

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Bedrooms

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RULES:

After a few weeks of deliberation, your RolePlayGateway staff have agreed to revise the current rule on PDA from no response post whatsoever to allowing a single kiss/kiss response. -ViceVersus

1) Literacy. I do not expect children to join this, so please write like an adult that has passed high school English. This is an 18+ Roleplay and I expect your literacy and grammar to suit that of an adult as well. No one-liners, no god-mode, no killing off characters without permission. I am the GM what I say goes. As this is an ADULT RP, expect adult themes and possibly triggering situations such as violence, sexual themes, alcohol, abuse, foul language and death. This is a ROMANCE RP so expect to actually have your character engage in romance at some point.

2) Respect. We all deserve your respect, respect me, the other GMs and your fellow Roleplayers or you are out! One warning only.

3) Posting. Post when you need to, it's that simple. At least 500 words. No less. If you do not post at least once a week, you're going to be kicked from the Roleplay unless you PM me explaining your busy situation, in that case, I will write you out of the Roleplay until you can return. There is leniency, as I myself have left for extended periods of time in the previous saga.

4) No Mary Sue's. First come first serve is NOT my motto. If senior members and the GM's like your character best, they're in. If not, I won't accept it. I'm NOT a first come first serve type of person. Quality! Quality, Quality!! Also, I do not roleplay with people well known for skipping out on Roleplays. If you abandon us without giving us an explanation I most likely will not roleplay with you again. Everyone deserves a reason.

5) Follow the rules of the site, if you want to do perverted things not allowed here, please take it to your personal emails or something. It's not MY rule ;) as perverted scenes do not bother ME, but it's the site's rule, so what can we do? It's free, and a nice site, so be respectful.

6) If you disobey the rules of the site or the ones for this RP, you will not continue in this Roleplay. I repeat, everyone gets ONE warning.

7) You MUST be active, meaning participate in the OOC, PM's, and PLOT Development. If you cannot communicate with us, this isn't for you! To prove you've read the rules, tell me your character's color code in a private message and a brief (1-2 sentences suffice) explanation of why you want to join this RP. This is free roam, but I will host events, I need a little help, I can't know EVERYTHING you want out of this. This is give and take people! :)

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[right][img]GIF500x281[/img][/right][font=Times New Roman][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Nickname[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
NICKNAME

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Gender & Age[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
GENDER, AGE

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Race[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
RACE?

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Voice[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
[url=URLGOESHERE]AnimeEnglishDubPreferred!BeConsiderateOfOthers!DontPickSomethingUnattractive.[/url]

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Face Claim[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
FACE CLAIM NAME HERE[/font]
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[left][img]GIF500x281[/img][/left][font=Times New Roman][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Hair Color[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
HAIR COLOR HERE

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Eye Color[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
EYE COLOR HERE

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Skin Tone[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
SKIN TONE HERE

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Height[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
HEIGHT HERE

[b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b]Weight[/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
WEIGHT HERE[/font]

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[right][img]GIForIMAGE[/img][/right][right][img]GIForIMAGE[/img][/right][center][font=Times New Roman][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b][size=150]Potential Interest[/size][/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]
potential here[/center]

[center][b]||[/b][size=150][color=COLORCODE][b][u]Skills[/b][/u][/color][/size][b]||[/b]

[list]|| [b]SKILL[/b] ||[/center]
EXPLAIN

[center]|| [b]SKILL[/b] ||[/center]
EXPLAIN

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EXPLAIN

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[center][font=Gabriola][size=150][color=COLORCODE][b][i]❝ QUOTE. ❞[/i][/b][/color][/size][/font][/center]
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[left][img]GIForIMAGE[/img][/left][left][img]GIForIMAGE[/img][/left][center][font=cambria]⌈[color=COLORCODE][i][b][size=150][u]Other[/u][/size][/i][/b][/color]⌋[/center]
ANYTHING RELEVANT THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ASKED ON THIS SHEET GOES HERE.

[center][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][b][u][size=150]Quirks[/size][/b][/u][/color] [b]||[/b][/center]
[list]❖ [b]QUIRK[/b] ||
EXPLAIN.

❖ [b]QUIRK[/b] ||
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❖ [b]QUIRK[/b] ||
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[center][b]||[/b] [font=Times New Roman][color=COLORCODE][b][u][size=120]Likes[/size][/b][/u][/color] [b]||[/b]
[list]♥ [b]LIKE[/b] ||
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[list]✘ [b]DISLIKE[/b] ||
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[right][img]LargeImage[/img][/right][right][img]LargeImage[/img][/right][font=Times New Roman][center][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][b][u][size=150]Strengths[/size][/b][/u][/color] [b]||[/b][/center]
[list][center]|| [b]STRENGTH[/b] ||[/center]
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[center]|| [b]STRENGTH[/b] ||[/center]
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[center]|| [b]STRENGTH[/b] ||[/center]
EXPLAIN.[/list]

[center][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][b][u][size=150]Weaknesses[/size][/b][/u][/color] [b]||[/b][/center]
[list][center]|| [b]WEAKNESS[/b] ||[/center]
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[center][font=Times New Roman][b]||[/b] [color=COLORCODE][i][b][size=150][u]Personality[/b][/u][/size][/i][/color] [b]||[/b]
[u]TRAIT[/u] | [u]TRAIT[/u] | [u]TRAIT[/u] | [u]TRAIT[/u] l [u]TRAIT[/u]
[img]GIF[/img]

PERSONALITY GOES HERE, A FEW PARAGRAPHS AS LONG AS YOU GET THE POINT ACROSS.[/font][/center]
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[center][img]GIF[/img]
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[left][img]MOST%20LIKELY%20A%20LARGE%20PNG%20FILE[/img][/left][font=Times New Roman][b]||[/b] [color=ColorCode][i][b][size=150]History[/size][/i][/b][/color] [b]||[/b]

[size=120]History. Try to write 2-3 paragraphs minimum, but if you really get into it, knock yourself out and write more! :) [/size][/font]

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[center][size=120][b]Write 500 words minimum (or more!!) as the character you intend to play. You can interact with our characters in this sample if it helps, feel free to make something random up. It doesn't have to be a serious piece or portray [u]our[/u] characters properly, we just need to see how YOU bring YOUR character to life! Dialogue, Description, Narrative! This is a very important part of the application for new faces, so please do not expect to be accepted with a skimpy paragraph. We need to know if you will be a good match for us. Make us laugh, make us cry, but most importantly make us love your character and prove you can play them well![/b][/size][/center]

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 9 authors

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Character Portrait: Aeliya Antolin Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Arik Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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#, as written by Rhage
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”Sometimes the safest place is in the arms of the most dangerous man in the room.”

“The quieter twin will be serving the ever-so-excited Arik.” Nothing ever sounded so good to his ears though he tried to keep the surprise from his features. The white haired vampire didn’t think it would be so easy, but a gentle, pleased smile crossed his face. His crimson gazed looked to Aeliya, gauging her reaction. The way she held herself together impressed him, but his animal instincts practically smelled the fear that drifted from her. He couldn’t blame her of course, considering he wasn’t good at hiding his true nature like the eldest was. He had no filter, and that tended to get him into trouble.

"Brother! Surely you can't think to give her to Arik?! Why the hell should he get her?! He'll ruin her for sure! I have never opposed you in anything of serious matter, nor do I intend to, but this is ridiculous!"

At that, Arik stood and walked over to his dark haired beauty, offering his hand. ”Come sweet girl, there is lots to discuss. It’ll be best to let the room to Claudio and Bishop.” His gaze shot over to Alice and Faye, wondering if he should lead them from the room as well. Deciding not to make the situation worse by removing them from their assignments, he looked back to Aeliya patiently waiting for her to take his hand.




"....Uhm... I..." She was running out of options. Rejecting his company was not something she had the choice to do. Her Amethyst eyes shifted to Claudio, then to Bishop before Aeliya very hesitantly placed her hand in Arik's. Her gut told her to stall, to find any reason to stay, but she was out of logical excuses, and did not wish to cause additional conflict, "...Alright.." She relented, taking his hand and standing up straight, smoothing out any creases of her dress.




”You don’t have to worry. You’re mine now. I will protect you.” And I can’t wait for you to scream my name from those quiet lips… In all honesty, there was a part of Arik that wanted to ruin the girl that stood beside him. It wasn’t necessarily her that he wanted to ruin, but her innocence. There was weakness in naivety and he wanted to bring her out of herself. He wanted to see confidence and power; wanted someone to stand up to him and challenge him. Sure, Arik had a dark soul and basked in destruction and death nearly as much as Damian, but he did want a partner too.

Lacing his cool fingers with hers, he quickly and quietly took her from the room to let his brothers deal with Claudio’s choice, making a mental note to thank him later. ”Like I said, there are some things we need to talk about. You’re essentialy my companion, he said, pausing a moment to think. ”I will not force myself on you,” he quickly added, ”not sexually. You have my word. You’re here to aid me, to see to the things that I need. Not so much to clean my room and do my laundry, but to help me heal when I hurt. We all have our secrets sweet girl, and I am entrusting mine unto you.” He glanced over to her before opening the door to outside, wanting to lead her out into the gardens.

”I am a shapeshifter,” he started, deciding that he would start with the least intimidating part of his story. I can shift into any animal, but the animal is my size. There are no limits, but I do have to remember proportions. If I turn into a bird that’s only meant to be small and someone sees me, it’ll bring around questions that we can’t afford."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal

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#, as written by Stiles
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As blood rushed to Tanzy's cheeks, Damian's gums throbbed behind his closed lips. He could smell her blood. It was intoxicatingly tempting. His thumb lingered, tilting his head a bit. Tanned skin was not something he saw ordinarily, so he found it fascinating. Still, he was hungry, and he would not be able to quell his thirst just by staring at her. Soon, she wouldn't enjoy him as much as she seemed to be. Soon, she wouldn't look at him like that. They never did, after they were introduced to the monster that hid behind his impressive appearance. He had never met a woman, nor a man that could handle the truth. Every human he ever met cowered with fear, begging for mercy. While he enjoyed inflicting pain, none of them seemed to appreciate it. Just once, he wanted someone who wouldn't cry and scream every time he felt like having a little fun.

"You don't wish me to clean anything your Highness? Nothing at all?"

Sighing a bit, his ruby gaze shifted to the books sprawled out across the room. He knew they could be damaged the way they were... it couldn't hurt to stack them neatly, but he would not allow any of them to be taken out, regardless of if she ran out of places to put them. Here, at least they were safe from his brothers and their antics. He refused to subject his books to possible rips, tears, or any other fate his brothers deemed fit for his personal belongings. He would let her clean if that's really what she wanted. She seemed to be the type that wasn't happy unless they were busy anyhow, "Fine. If you insist you may nearly stack them, but not a single one leaves this room. Understood?" He warned her. It was going to be a challenging feat, even with the various bookshelves in his chamber. He was definitely a hoarder of literature.

"Claudio...you mean the King Regent? I shall try if you wish me to, but...might I be allowed to ask why?"

His teeth gritted as she mentioned that bastard by his name. Just hearing it put him in a bad mood, he hated just the sound of it. His hand retreated from her cheek, afraid that he would not be able to control himself. He did not want to hurt her, not like that, at least. Not yet, "He's not my brother. As you may already know, I was adopted. He is not my actual brother and furthermore he's a fake, he is not the person he presents himself to be... You may even come to thank me one day for that particular rule. He informed her. He really didn't care if Claudio found out or not, but he wasn't about to have his maid believing Claudio was an all around nice guy, especially once she realized just how terrible Damian was. He couldn't have her coveting his nemesis, Claudio, she was his maid, and he forbade it.

"B-beautiful? You think me beautiful, highness?"

Smirking at her innocent response, Damian closed his eyes. He was not used to such purity, he usually killed his victims far before he discovered how cute they could be. It was a pity really, but he supposed that since he had to keep this one alive he would have plenty of time to toy around with it. When his eyes reopened, there was a mischevious glimmer in them, "Didn't I already say that, love?" he teased, leaning in so their faces were only a few inches apart. Both of his forearms barring her in place, he decided to tease her a bit more, "Or...do you just like hearing me say it?" He whispered in her ear, letting his breath dance across the outer edges, his lips barely grazing the skin there.

"I....I'm...Thank you."

Almost, he almost felt criminal for what he was about to do, "Don't thank me yet..." he chuckled a bit, though it was obvious he felt a little guilty about something. He had been in this game for far too long though. He wouldn't let anything get between him and the mesmerizing smell that came from her jugular. Lowering his head to her neck, his hand pulled her collar out of the way, just to be certain that what he was about to do would not taint her clothes. Before she could make any protests, Damian sank his fangs into her neck without warning, wrapping one arm quickly around her waist, the other holding her right hand against the door, making sure she couldn't fight him too much. His bite was greedy, a little rougher than typical, but he wasn't as violent as usual. He didn't want to scare her too much, this early in the game. Taking a gulp of the crimson liquid, he sighed against her skin, enjoying her taste quite a bit. He knew the venom would help ease her nerves...and depending on her tolerance for pain, even his bite might lead to a sense of euphoria, as their venom was an aphrodisiac. His grip was strong, authoritative, but mostly it was for her own good. If she fought him it would unnecessarily rip the skin. He didn't want to waste a drop of her blood, nor did he want her endangering herself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aeliya Antolin Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Arik Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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”You don’t have to worry. You’re mine now. I will protect you.”

While his words were meant to be reassuring, Aeliya's heart skipped a beat nervously. His? What does that even mean? Wasn't she supposed to be a maid? Why did she need to be protected? Her head was swirling with questions, she couldn't ask them all, some of them were too embarrassing and some of them were far too personal. Still, Aeliya was very confused, so she remained quiet. How was she supposed to respond to something like that anyway? Her violet eyes did land on him though, proving she was paying attention. Ignoring a prince was very rude after all. Aeliya wasn't sure if her silence would be considered so as well, but she really couldn't think of a proper response that wouldn't make her feel like an imbecile. As he entwined their fingers, Aeliya felt her shoulders tensing up. Pulling down her sleeve subconsciously, Aeliya followed behind him, looking back once to Claudio and Bishop, Well, at least he tried to stand up for me... Why would Prince Bishop come to my aid so plainly...? We've never met until today... Is he just a kind person...? Thank you. She thought to herself before following Arik completely out of the throne room.

”Like I said, there are some things we need to talk about. You’re essentially my companion,"

C-Companion!? Aeliya thought to herself, almost tripping then and there. There were many things that could mean, and she was not sure what sense of the word he was referring to. If he meant companion Aeliya was surely going to have a heart attack. She had not been informed that that sort of relationship was to be expected of them. Clutching her cross necklace through her dress with her free hand, Aeliya composed herself as quickly as anyone could when hearing that sort of revelation.

”I will not force myself on you,”

Out of everything he had said to her that entire day, that was the one thing that actually reassured her. Before she even realized it, her hand had gently squeezed his. It was subconscious, she didn't even mean to do it, but when she became aware of what she had done it definitely wasn't something she had done on purpose, her suddenly flushed cheeks an open indicator of that. Her heart was racing as the color immediately formed on her cheeks and she attempted to withdraw her hand timidly, "I-I'm sorry." She stammered, completely flustered by her own actions. It kind of reminded her of Derrick, and she had reacted before she had the chance to think it through.

”not sexually. You have my word. You’re here to aid me, to see to the things that I need. Not so much to clean my room and do my laundry, but to help me heal when I hurt. We all have our secrets sweet girl, and I am entrusting mine unto you.”

Most importantly, how could he speak of sex so openly? T-That wasn't even on the table! Do I look like that kind of girl...? Aeliya turned her attention away from him, unable to even look in his direction. She was highly religious, and just the mere notion of sex outside of wedlock was appalling, it was unspeakable. Thankfully he continued talking, shifting her attention from his lewd remark. What? Heal? Was he talking figuratively? What kind of wounds would a prince truly endure? She heard rumors that Demetri had fought in the war a few years ago, despite being well under the fighting age, but he had returned a war hero. None of this was making any sense. Brushing a few strands of hair behind her ear with her free hand, Aeliya finally decided to ask some of her questions, "What do you mean by help you heal..?" She spoke up, taking a quiet breath in. As they made it outside, it was slightly reassuring. The sun was low in the sky, the entire sky dark shades of orange and purple.

”I am a shapeshifter,”

Nearly choking up, Aeliya returned her gaze to Arik. His words were very difficult to believe. Supernatural beings never came to the rural village of Asariea. It was mostly farmland, a place nestled between the mountains with beautiful fields and wonderful breezes. The flowers bloomed so brightly in the spring and the winters could chill you to the bone. The climate was harsh there, but it was her home, and she loved it dearly. As such, it was very difficult for her to take his confession seriously, "I beg your pardon..?" Aeliya responded, blinking several times. Was he insane? Such things were only folklore, stories to keep children in their beds, tales to scare teenagers away from sneaking off to commit irreversible sins of passion in the woods. It wasn't something she believed in. Aeliya only believed in what she could see, taste, or hear for herself. Rumors and fairy tales were just that, stories. They held no weight, they were just fabrications of the human mind to make an otherwise monotonous existence have a bit of diversion now and again. There was no harm in it, until someone crossed the line, just as Arik had done, "Excuse me..? You are joking, correct?" She was hoping it was just an attempt to stir a reaction out of her. Dealing with the mentally ill was not something she was accustomed to, and she really hoped that he did not truly believe his own ridiculous claim.

"I can shift into any animal, but the animal is my size. There are no limits, but I do have to remember proportions. If I turn into a bird that’s only meant to be small and someone sees me, it’ll bring around questions that we can’t afford."

Biting the inside of her cheek to keep herself from reacting poorly, Aeliya attempted to release her hand from his own. This was much heavier than anything she was prepared to deal with. He truly believed that he could change into animals? Her heart pounded as she attempted to come to terms with this. Would she really have to play along with his self-deception? She heard from adults in her village that it was best to play along, "...Is that so..?" she answered wearily, unsure of how long she would be able to play along. Once they made it to the gardens she did her best to focus on the flowers and the other arrangements. The castle's gardens were beautiful, but she could not enjoy it. The secret he had just entrusted her with was quite heavy, she did not believe him of course, but she couldn't say that. She would have to be supportive, given this was her job now, "The...secret is safe with me. she assured him, smiling weakly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Demetri Santiago Character Portrait: Luciana Fergus

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**no notes!
xxxxxxxxxxDɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ◆ #E2A76F
xxxxxxxxxxTʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ◇ #E799A3
                      XX"Demetri Santiago, it's a pleasure to have you to myself, I must say... Just try not to get tangled in the messes your fellow maids make. That's rule number one, okay my little dove? I promise I don't have many." Was one of the first things that actually rang in her ears as she looked over the man. Once. Twice. Maybe about three times? What in the world was he expecting her to say? Her delicate purple eyes blinked a few more times, processing the fact he even seemed to call her 'his little dove'. What was it the kids said these days? That this was the key sign of a player? Luciana had to restrain herself for now, it seemed. Her eyes glanced over Franklin, though it took a moment for her to actually realize that this prince just, in all literal definition, swept her off her feet.
                      XX"Yes of course, alright." She nodded. Her eyes were back on Demetri, wondering just what this next move of his might be... Though, she figured he'd walk out of the room with her in his arms. Legs crossing and arms following that motion, she almost looked annoyed by the sudden gesture.
                      XX"Let's get out of here, shall we?" Oh boy. He didn't walk at all! He ran out, and Luciana could only wiggle a finger in silent response as she sunk back down. Oh boy, oh boy. And then, then everything had just become ten times more clear. Almost within a blink of an eye they were in the goddamn barn! What in the absolute fu- Oh sweet father Alexander, was he trying to fix the loss strands that now fell loosely in her face? She was scowling, but behaved. That kind of speed, it was inhuman... But flash backing to the joke he made out loud, her eyes went wide once more. Everything seemed to make near perfect sense now. Or at least... she hoped so. Fangs, and speed. That was a cliche among vampires, right?
                      XXSo her life was in danger. There was nothing new about that. In fact, it seemed like it was just going to be a running theme. Mercedes and Alexander were right, this job just became a whole new level of dangerous Luciana just now got the full picture of. " I do hope you like animals my little dove." At least the Prince put her down. That was a plus. Looking about, her eyes definitely softened.
                      XX"I believe the animals might just be your saving grace as of right now? What are you? A vampire?" That would explain the closed shades and so much wasted electricity. "I feel like you are, but my knowledge of supernatural creatures is lacking to strictly the few I've read in stories and tales a pair of librarian told me. Please, just what am I actually her for? A blood bank? Someone to keep you in check? Are you even a vampire, or is everything just a strange coincidence and your a superhuman who's entire family is no doubt even more bizarre and terrifying?" Luciana had to take a moment to breathe as she scooped a small kitten up, sitting down with it in her lap. "Considering you haven't hurt me within the few moments of getting me alone, shall I assume even further that your intentions aren't to hurt me... Lord Santiago." Quite the mouthful, but she took the deepest breathe yet as she seemed to relax the more she pet and scratched the small feline on her lap. She wasn't dead. Not yet...
                      XXBut, it didn't hurt he was a nice enough man, attractive as well. And, perhaps, he liked animals himself considering her took her to the barn of all places. No exact reason to panic or hit him. Just enough reason to stay guarded. Demetri Santiago... A trap? No. He was like... a honey badger! Was that the terminology Mercedes used...? Luciana visibly squinted in thought as she waited for what he had to say. Nothing like a playful kitten biting at her finger as she wiggled it around to play with the small creature as her other hand seemed to pet a fluffy dog that wandered up as well. Quickly, the pinkette seemed to start cooing at them to come over, offering out scritches and pets by the bundles. She even took off her cloak to bundle some of them up playfully, though still patiently waiting for answers now that she had bombarded him with a thousand questions.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent Character Portrait: Franklin Gables Character Portrait: Maleah Santiago

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Franklin's heart stopped when the glass shattered, seemingly by itself. He let himself be led away by Maleah, never once tearing his eyes from the shards. How unnatural. The next thing he knew, he was holding hands with the Princess of Asmaria herself, being yanked in every which direction as she meandered out of the throne room. He gave a wave to the remaining company as they left, but his hand quickly dropped back to his side as he made accidental eye contact with Bishop.

"Princess! Do you need me to -" he yelped when she let out a cry of pain as they stepped outside, then shut his mouth as she jumped over to the grass. He looked at her questionably when she shoved him, then gazed after her running off into the courtyard. Ah, a race, right? He chuckled evilly and cracked his fingers before sprinting after her.

He slowed down, keeping himself at a short distance behind her, thinking to himself that he should let her win. That seemed like something a butler should do. The subconscious reasoning behind that was that he wanted to keep looking at her, and he couldn't do that in first place. She looked like some sort of fantastical being as she ran, and Franklin couldn't help but wonder in suspicion, How fast can she really run?

Maleah slowed to a stop and Frankie halted rather abruptly beside her. He folded his arms, nodding along as she talked about her secret. He couldn't hold back his happiness as she claimed she didn't care about what he did in his free time - so he did have some freedom, after all - but that smile all but dropped at what came next.

"I'm... yours?" Franklin murmured out of shock. He didn't mean for it to slip out so skeptically, or at all for that matter.

"Yes, mine," she confirmed as she let her knees collapse, taking her body to the grass. Her dress flared out around her as she perched on her newly grass stained feet. She could already hear the complaints form the woman that washed her clothes and the lecture on how she shouldn't sit in the grass in a white dress. "It'll make sense soon, I promise." Maleah assured him, even while a small sense of insecurity washed over her.

"Right..." He nodded slowly, then recovered from his brief confusion by lifting his arms up into the shape of a W and letting out an exaggerated sigh. "Sure it will, Princess." He slumped down on the grass next to her, looking up at the night sky as he declared all too honestly, "S'long as I'm being paid, I'll be yours until you can't stand me!"

Maleah watched him, smiling as he joined her and even happier that he wouldn't be lecturing her either. Around him, she didn't have to be so prim and proper and she could sit in a heap in the grass if she damn well pleased. "You still haven't promised me that the secret I'm about to tell you will stay between us," she spoke in a soft tone, her fingers moving from the grass to the hair on the back of his neck. She knew that she was invading his personal space, but she couldn't help herself. Maleah was an affectionate person and adored affection in return and sometimes she just like to touch things that looked soft

Completely frozen in place upon physical contact, Franklin stammered out a reply. "Of course! Uh - I mean - yeah, w-what kind of a butler would I be if I didn't keep it?" He scooted away from the young woman slightly, giving her a sideways glance as he did so. He wanted to touch her hair, too. Instead, he furiously stared at his knees and thrust his hand towards her, his pinkie jutting up in the air.

Maleah watched him curiously, frowning as he moved away while her hand dropped to her lap. 'Please don't be afraid of me,' she thought, reaching out to take a hold of his pinkie with her own. Not yet letting go, she tugged his hand forward, right to her chest just below her throat, looking for his gaze. It wouldn't be until they made eye contact that she would speak again. "Franklin. My brothers and I... Well..." she paused, pulling in a nervous breath through dry lips."Well, we're vampires."

There was a moment of tense silence, when...

"I thought so," came Frankie's plainly said reply. He glanced at his hand which was unnervingly too close to her breasts. "Great. Is there any royalty that doesn't suck blood?" he mock-lamented, tossing his head away.

"Oh," came her flat response. Part of her felt relief, the other part was disappointed and she couldn't figure out why. At his next comment, she released his pinkie and pushed his hand away, meekly shrugging her shoulders."I don't know," she mumbled before quietly distracting herself with the hem of her dress.


"I'm joking," he said in a hurry and shook the hand she had held. Vampires sure had some grip. He focused on his knees again, a somewhat awkward atmosphere settling over the two of them. He coughed. "Look, Princess, I'm sorry I'm not going..." Frankie murmured, then lamely waved his arms about like limp noodles, "Aaaaagh, oh noooo, vampire, but I like my blood." He looked at her, smiling and hoping he'd made her smile, too. "I'm just used to it. I'm surprised though!" He blurted out suddenly. "I never imagined I'd find vampires here and... well..." The young man nudged her with a reassuring grin, "Never thought I'd find a nice one."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Demetri Santiago Character Portrait: Aeliya Antolin Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent Character Portrait: Maleah Santiago

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Bishop Santiago


Bishop watched his eldest sibling pull himself away with barely a sentence excusing himself as a servant pushed an official looking envelope into his pale hands. Duty called, and the redhead felt even more insulted and ignored at not recieivng a proper reply from Claudio. Claudio was not one to snub him, and the strange feeling hurt more than he cared to let on. Fine then. He'd do things his way! Bishop stared after the retreating figure a moment longer before looking over at those still in the room.

Even though no one had bid her to speak, the one shoved onto him was now voicing an apologetic sounding opinion. Bishop's eye twitched in annoyance, wondering if the girl was only pretty outside. He hoped not, or he'd not even be able to put up with this charade for any length of time. Her thudding heart was not unlike the other humans in the room, and it was further distraction, thus making his annoyance all the greater. Bishop almost wanted to whine as his twin fled with his servant (not that he was surprised, Demetri did tend to be more sensitive around the food), now left to deal with this unpleasant situation on his own. His gaze lingered one last time on Aeliya, projecting his voice in her mind. He had no idea if she would dismiss it or not, but he wasn't about to let that stop him. ~You. Never place your full trust in the lightest or the darkest of my brothers. Don't forget it.~

At last, Bishop addressed Faye, arms folded over his chest as he looked her over. "You're right. You shouldn't have. Why'd you do it if you knew better?" he snapped, shaking his head and motioning her to stand. "Whatever, follow me and don't give me trouble, understand? As for you..." Bishop growled, turning to face the willful Alice, he grabbed her upper arm, making sure not to bruise his brother's servant despite his anger. "You're staying in the dungeon until Claudio comes back. I don't trust you, and no way in hell am I gonna put up with your impertinent ass." Bishop nodded to a guard, handing her off as if she were no more special than a sack of potatoes. The annoying human taken care of, he returned his attention to Faye.

"Follow." he ordered, heading off towards his room in a huff, grumbling under his breath all the while until they reached his quarters.

With a curt nod, he gestured Faye inside, closing the door shut as soon as the human was far enough into the room. With a soft click, Bishop locked the door behind him and stood before it, blocking the way out as he folded his arms over his chest.

"Enough of the pleasantries. I have some rules, and I expect you to obey them without question or failure." Bishop began, eying the maid up and down in appraisal. Not bad looking. Not particularly old. Nervous if her body language was any indication. She had reason to be. Bishop almost smirked at the thought. Instead, he narrowed his eyes and held up a hand, lifting a finger for each rule as he began to initiate the poor fool into being his assigned servant.

"If you threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my twin Demetri- I'll torture you and kill you. You threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my eldest sibling Claudio- I torture and kill you. You threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my younger sister Maleah- I torture and kill you." Bishop advanced towards Faye, eyes holding a warning in them, daring her to defy him. With a firm grip, he grasped the young woman's chin, holding her steady so her eyes couldn't avoid his.

Lowering his head so he could speak in a whisper, Bishop gave an almost feral growl as he issued his last decree. "If I even think you breathed a word of what I told you to any of my family...especially Arik or Damian....I will rip out your precious voice box, torture you, then kill you."

Releasing the poor human, Bishop pulled his face back to talk in a normal volume once more. Letting out a feral grin, the hot headed redhead looked his maid in the eyes. "I trust we understand each other better now...don't we?" Bishop confirmed smoothly, the warning gone from his voice, seemingly pleasant now. Despite his softened voice, his eyes were still fixed on Faye like a hawk. Bishop's smile was the most unnerving- a pleasant grin laced with a sadistic ferocity.

"You can speak. Do you have any questions?" He finally said, almost as an afterthought.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago

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"Brother! Surely you can't think to give her to Arik?! Why the hell should he get her?! He'll ruin her for sure! I have never opposed you in anything of serious matter, nor do I intend to, but this is ridiculous!"

The sharp words rang in his head for a moment. Everything else turned into a blur. His siblings took their servants, spoke to them as their own. Heartbeats quickened with nervousness and fear. Words of order were laced with solicitation; words of warning were filled with angst and doubt. It was as if he could smell the fear and anxiety in the room running off of every human. He could hear every separate heartbeat in his head, pulsing in unsteady rhythms, driving him to into madness. He needed to get away, take his maid, tell her what she needed to know, and just spend some time alone before he imploded.

A new set of footsteps entered the room. Claudio turned his head away from Alice, staring at the castle servant standing at the entrance of the room. A focused gaze revealed a small white envelope in his gloved hands. Without a word, he stepped towards the man. He was not sure what was going on behind him, but stepping away from the massive group gave him some comfort. His shoulders, tense with a mix of anger and irritation, had relaxed themselves. His mind began to slow down. He forced it to move even slower as he drew the letter from the servant’s silk gloves, tearing open the red seal and drawing the paper out. Sapphire eyes scanned the longhand calligraphy, sensing an inkling of aggressiveness in the finely written letters.

It was from the Royal Family of Eskye. An invitation, calling him in his father’s place to a dinner and political discourse. They wanted to discuss…something with him. The letter was extremely vague, offering little of the information Claudio was searching for. All he could gather was that they wanted to discuss policies between the two kingdoms, but the letter seemed too artificial, as if they were trying to draw his attention with the promise of sustenance and debate. He wondered briefly how they handled ‘food’ there. Would he have just been given one of their many slaves to please himself? His mind was drawn back to exactly where he was. Alice. Yes, he had to take her and discuss some things with her…and he had to find Bishop soon as well, and let him know that he had no intention of demeaning him with his decision of what maid he received.

He would have to respond to the letter sometime later. Give a more in depth reading. He definitely was not going to start leaving now, not to a place such as Eskye. He did not condemn the region for their practices amongst people or how they treated humans; he could care less about what other people deemed as “wrong” or “immoral” in a world such as this, when none of it mattered anyway. Rather, he criticized their economic practices and what it had done to the poorer regions. Relying on slaves so heavily was sure to be their downfall, and Claudio was just waiting for it to happen.

Folding the letter closed again, he slipped it into the interior pocket of his black jacket, nodding his head in thanks to the servant. He turned his attention once more to the centre of the room, where most of his family and their help had departed. What remained was a single servant standing by Alice, attempting to guide her away someplace. Where that place was, Claudio was unsure. His mind had been too busy with the affairs of the other nation. The blonde haired man narrowed his eyes in both confusion and concern, listening intensely for any words spoken that may help him recognize what was happening.

The servant mumbled something about escorting her to the dungeon under orders of Bishop. A firm hand grasped her forearm as he faced her. The man’s eyes glimpsed briefly to meet Claudio’s gaze. Claudio’s blue eyes softened in understanding. Maybe it was not such a bad idea to have her there for a bit? It could frighten some sense into her, possibly. Then he could appreciate some time alone. The idea danced in Claudio’s mind for the time being, his hands retreating to behind his back. For a moment, the scene that Demetri had created for him flashed in his mind once again, unannounced. He smiled weakly at its return, not heralded by its creator, but by his own mind out of a longing for the pure terror and violence. Now he really needed to be alone.

”I will be in my room then. Take good care of her down there. I will see to her later…” His voice trailed off as he made his way in the direction of his bedroom, longing for the comfort of his maps and trails drawn over his walls. He was in a state of complete carelessness regarding Alice and her wellbeing, perhaps the first glimpse into the true nature of the King Regent.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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"You're right. You shouldn't have. Why'd you do it if you knew better?"

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The words stung, however, Faye all but expected them. Taking them with stride, Faye took a deep breath to level her emotions, "It won't happen again, my lord." Faye responded, reminding herself that speaking freely would no longer be a luxury that she would be allowed to partake in. When she stood, Faye carefully adjusted the dress that Demetri had designed, the fabric was surprisingly soft despite the gems and jewels that were embroidered into it. They gave it a very pleasant sparkle that reminded her of the sea on a warm sunny day. It had almost been enough to brighten her mood, but it fell short as it was not the actual ocean. She knew the castle had a beach nearby, but it was still a fair distance away. Was going there allowed?

"Whatever, follow me and don't give me trouble, understand? As for you... You're staying in the dungeon until Claudio comes back. I don't trust you, and no way in hell am I gonna put up with your impertinent ass."

Faye began to follow him but came to an abrupt halt when he seized the other girl in the room by the arm. Her green eyes widened a bit, one hand coming to her mouth. What was he going to do with her? Faye watched in horror as he mentioned her being shifted off into the dungeons. When would he even return? Days? Weeks? Poor girl... That seemed like an awfully long time to be held in a prison. Part of her was once again glad that it was not happening to her, but that only made Faye feel yet another pang of guilt. Despite her obedience, she did want to help the other girl. She wished to speak out for her, but Faye kept her mouth shut. She had promised she wouldn't speak out of turn again, and doing it again so soon would make her seem very weak-willed, which she was, but no one else had to know that. Shooting the other girl an apologetic glance, Faye promised herself that she would find a way to console the other girl after they were all given a moment to themselves. The next time she saw her, she would show her something splendid. While Faye feared opening up to others, she would have no choice. The servants of this castle would have to stick together. The royal family was, for the lack of a better word, terrifying.

"Follow."

Quietly, Faye did as she was told, that is, until they approached the sleeping quarters. Her heart skipped a beat, but Faye did her best to remain calm. He likely only wants the room cleaned. Faye assured herself. Stepping inside, Faye looked around. Hearing the familiar 'click' of the lock, Faye's shoulders tensed a bit. It was the first time she had been alone in a bedroom with a guy that was not her brother or father. No amount of relaxing thoughts or mental reassurances could ease her nerves now. The fact that he went as far as locking the door sent chills up her spine. She kept her back to him for a few moments, unnerved that he was still standing between her and the door. Even when she was locked in her room for a week straight she had not felt this trapped.

"Enough of the pleasantries. I have some rules, and I expect you to obey them without question or failure."

As he spoke she turned to face him. It was rude not to at least turn in the direction of a Prince when he was speaking, was it not? When his hand came up to visually count his rules, Faye's eyes shifted higher, still not meeting his gaze, keeping her green orbs focused on his hand instead. Nodding quietly, she waited for him to explain what he expected of her. She didn't have to meet his gaze to feel intimidated, she could feel the intensity, and she knew that looking him in the eyes would only make her feel even more uneasy. Although they both had green eyes, his were a striking emerald, very noble, and her own were a delicate teal. They were both classified as 'green', yet they were undeniably different.

"If you threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my twin Demetri- I'll torture you and kill you. You threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my eldest sibling Claudio- I torture and kill you. You threaten, harass, endanger, touch, or hurt my younger sister Maleah- I torture and kill you."

His rules.. they were things she had never even considered. Not once in her entire life had she ever threatened anyone, aside from her brother, but that was an entirely different matter. One always treated their siblings differently. She would never have actually hurt him, at least not permanently. He was the only person in the entire world that truly cared about her. He was her most precious person. As he forced her to meet his gaze, Faye's blue-green eyes faltered. Her entire form demanded that she put some space between herself and the redheaded prince standing before her. Red hair. It was too familiar, too similar to the man from Eskye, the man who ruined her life. It was difficult to maintain eye contact given their similarity in features. Even more troubling, why was the prince's touch so cool? He had on more clothes than she did, yet his fingers were slightly cold. It wasn't nearly as cold as ice, but it was definitely alarming. It reminded her of someone who had just played in the snow and had not entirely warmed up just yet.

"If I even think you breathed a word of what I told you to any of my family...especially Arik or Damian....I will rip out your precious voice box, torture you, then kill you."

It wasn't until his last threat that the tears fell from her eyes, her hand clasping over her mouth to silence her fear. Back home it was no secret that it was remarkably easy to make Faye cry. Boys and girls would always tease her for being so sensitive. It wasn't something she was proud of, and she quickly wiped them away. Something about him frightened her immeasurably. Faye was not certain what frightened her most... the look in his eyes, his vivid threat, or the dangerous tone of voice he adopted. It was the first time that anyone had threatened her life.

"I trust we understand each other better now...don't we?"

Although he was much more pleasant on the outside, Faye refused to allow herself to be fooled. That malice was still present. She had seen expressions like this lately. The first had come from the Vampire from Esyke who introduced himself as Winn. She wasn't sure if that was his actual name or not, but meeting him had taught her a powerful lesson: not all smiles are an indication of goodness. It had torn away at the veil of her naivety, and although she had much to learn where the cruelty of the world was concerned, Faye's eyes were finally open for the first time in her life.

"You can speak. Do you have any questions?"

"No, I think you've made yourself quite clear, My Lord." Faye responded in a shaken tone. She understood his threat. Those were his siblings. Thankfully she had never been thrown into a situation where she would have to protect her older brother, but if she had been, Faye believed she might have been able to relate to the redhead standing before her. While she could not relate as she had never had to protect anyone before, she could connect with the sentiment all the same, "We do anything we can to protect family, and I assure you none of your concerns are amidst my intentions... I was separated from my own brother when I was forced to come here so I can... sympathize... with your protectiveness if only a little." She spoke honestly, and despite her voice breaking now and then as thoughts of her older brother clouded her mind, she did not cry again. It was tempting to do so, but tears would solve nothing and despite how often she cried, she loathed having an audience.

Many questions came across her mind, but she felt most of them would answer themselves with time. Besides, her father often told her a very wise statement. 'Once you know something you cannot unknow it.' It was eerily true, and she did not wish to know anything she did not have to. While a naturally curious young woman, Faye was beginning to realize this castle was not the Godsend many in Asmaria believed it to be. It was a much....darker place than she would have ever imagined. "My only question... No, it's more of a request really...I apologize, but I was not given a chance to ask when..." Faye corrected herself quietly but faltered when she attempted to decide what was best to address Damian as. Bishop did not seem to be fond of him, but the terrifying male was still a prince by law. What was she to address him as? Finally, she decided to go with the safest word, "...when Lord Damian tore me away from my brother and forced me into the carriage. Upon my arrival, I was locked away in for an entire week... even though I've been here for some time, I never was given the chance to make my request, so please hear me out." It was probably a bit too bold to say such things, her tone perhaps a bit too bitter, but she was angry with the ebony haired brother, even though she was trying with every fibre of her being to forgive. If he had never come, her life would have gone on as it always had. While she knew what she was about to say could be seen as very bold, and even a bit unreasonable as women did not have any agency in Asmaria or Eskye. A woman was often seen as a pawn, for marriage and alliances. She did not want that life for her brother's child. If it was a girl, she wanted her to have money of her very own, a life that no one could take from her. If it was a boy, he would still at least know that his aunt loved him dearly. She never wanted Dillan to have to make the choice their parents made for her, "Instead of my parents, could all wages be sent to my older brother, Dillan? All I want is for just one good thing to come from this... Dillan was injured permanently in the war... and his wife is now with child...I want my future niece or nephew to know they are taken care of as I will never be able to return to Lyria again to tell them so." Biting her bottom lip to keep the tears from flowing from her expressive eyes, Faye awaited his response. It was likely not the kind of question he expected, but her own wellbeing was not her primary concern. Faye had little regard for her own continuation, so long as the last person that ever truly mattered to her was taken care of, "I realize it's forward, but it is all I ask, or ever will ask for."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Antolin Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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#, as written by Stiles
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Watching Claudio leave her with his hot-headed brother and the violet-haired girl he had given him, much to the red haired man's annoyance, Alice sighed. It was clear on his face and through his mannerisms that he was not happy with the hand he had been dealt. He preferred her sister, he all but spoke it directly. He came up with every excuse for the ivory haired man to not have her, not that Alice could protest, it was a sentiment she shared. That bastard Arik was the last person she trusted with her little sister.

"As for you..."

Upon being manhandled, Alice found herself testing Bishop's hold on her. Her violet eyes glaring up at him. She was not a docile little girl that would allow men to do as they pleased, and despite his hand wrapped around bruises she had obtained from the slave traders, Alice merely winced. She had experienced far worse pain, something the slave traders realized as they tried to intimidate and frighten her into submission. Stitches without mixtures for pain relief hurt worse than anything they had ever done to her, but as it was, her father was excellent at stitching wounds. There were a few thin pale scars here and there along her skin, but they were barely noticeable as Alice was quite pale as well. Despite their time on the road, there were no unsightly wounds. As tough as she thought herself to be, Alice often underestimated the mental scarring she had endured from her brief time with those vile men. While she maintained her physical purity, some of the worst scars were unseen, hidden deep within one's very mind.

"You're staying in the dungeon until Claudio comes back. I don't trust you, and no way in hell am I gonna put up with your impertinent ass."

Scoffing at his words, Alice's lips curved into a slightly cocky grin, "Pardon my honesty mi'lord, but are you so intimidated by one woman that you must put iron bars between us?" She shot back as she was tossed aside to a guard. Alice was not nearly as cordial with him. Her first act after Bishop left the room was trying to elbow the man in the side. She failed, however, and thankfully he seemed to fail to notice as his attention shifted to the King Regent.

”I will be in my room then. Take good care of her down there. I will see to her later…”

While Alice was not looking for a savior, she did not expect him to actually give permission for her to be tossed away to the dungeons, and for what? She hadn't done anything! Well, not yet at least! Gritting her teeth, "He's certainly royal, that's for sure. A fucking royal prick." Alice muttered under breath before Claudio had completely left the throne room. While she was absolutely livid, she knew better than to raise her voice or to openly challenge the King Regent as she had done with his younger brother. She did promise Aeliya she would behave after all. Dark, confined spaces did not sit well with her. She was not some animal to be displayed and caged at a circus, she had experienced that once already and she was not eager to return to a glorified cage. As soon as the guard attempted to lead her away she turned and her knee met with his groin skillfully. The sheer fluidity of her movement proved this was not the first time she had done it. It made it clear that every bruise on her body was not from mere careless roughness, she had fought back against the men that had captured her. Every single one of the blue and purple marks left upon her skin was a badge of honor, proof that she was not a frail maiden batting her eyelashes waiting for a man to save her. Even if it only earned her more pain and punishment, Alice depended on no one but herself. While her blow did not entirely fell the man that held her arm, Alice felt considerably better as she watched him struggle to remain standing upright. It hurt her considerably more than she expected, but assumed it was because she simply had hit him harder. She did not fathom that it was because not a single soul in the entire castle was human aside from herself and the rest of the new hired help. Surrounded by the supernatural and completely oblivious, Alice was thrust toward the dungeons, "Oops. Did that hurt?" She mocked him, earning only a growl of anger as the man led her through the halls and down to her cell. The further down they went, the darker the castle became. She could feel cold air on her skin, aware that they were no longer above ground. Attempting to test the grip on her arm, Alice was not a pleasant captive, every couple of seconds she challenged his hold on her despite knowing it was comparable to solid rock morphed around her flesh.

Once she was thrown into one of the dungeon's many cells, Alice leaned against one of the walls, slowly sliding downward until she sat on cold, hard dirt hugging her knees. Although she seemed to accept it enough, in reality, her passive behavior was not resignation to her circumstance, she was simply reliving the last time she was contained like this. The cage was much humbler than her current confines and it was carried on a large wagon. There were several other men and women in similar cages, most of them crying or begging, trying to barter for their freedom. Alice was the only woman there that had any fight though, but toward the end, she did cry one time... finally allowing herself to succumb to the belief that she would soon be dead, or suffer a fate far worse than death. They deemed her a 'wild animal', but in Alice's eyes, they were the animals. How was indignation for having her freedom snatched away from her animalistic? It felt like it was the most human response possible. Some of her fellow captives died from the heat, but many survived the journey despite being dehydrated and unprotected from the elements. Surviving was unfortunate as death was surely a better fate than many of them had in store for them. If that prick of a King believes this will break me or that I will be grateful to him for releasing me, he really has another thing coming. This was HIS doing, and my mind is not so easily perverted into accepting such fallacies. she reflected, but only to herself as if her thoughts had become words they could surely be viewed as a threat, and a threat to the King Regent was definitely treason. Her thoughts were safe only inside her brain, and perhaps not even there.

The longer she was kept in the damp darkness, the more time she had to think. It is clear to me now. We cannot stay here. First I will find out what they are hiding, then I will take my little sister and all who wish to escape this wretched place far away from here. I would sooner choke on the hangman's noose than allow any of them to sink their disgusting claws into her.. She's innocent... Alice thought to herself, the thought of something bad happening to her sister nearly bringing her to tears. Alice was determined to stay alive long enough to protect her younger sister from the politics and heretics inside of these walls, pushing away such terrifying thoughts from her mind. Repeating her goal in her mind her lips moved as if she was reciting something. Alice found the strength to keep her cool, remembering that there was always light at the end of every tunnel, just past every obstacle. Alice did not speak a single word since the iron bars slammed closed. It was the only way to ensure her survival.

On the bright side, all things come to an end, eventually. It was that promise her father made her that kept her from pacing, that kept her from screaming and throwing things. As debilitating as the closed space was, she would not be in here forever, even if he chose to never let her out. That was the beauty of mortality. All I have to do is play the game. If I can do that, and win, I will see how they enjoy being caged animals. Alice assured herself, deciding then that she would learn how he ticked, would learn how to tear this family apart brick by emotionally damaged brick. There were some she would regret taking down more than others, such as Maleah and Demetri. From what she could tell, they had done nothing wrong. Still, if one left even a single weed left standing they would regrow with a vengeance to choke the life out of every beautiful thing that stood in their path. Alice refused to give into pessimism, she would continue to believe that things would get better so long as she kept fighting and stood up every time someone attempted to tear her down. However, she did not realize the threat that stood before her, did not recognize the danger. He was much shorter and skinnier than some of the rogues and bandits that she and her father had killed during their journies, but they had all been quite human. She had never encountered a vampire, and thus she underestimated the tenacity of the Santiago family.

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#, as written by Rhage
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”I would rather be known in life as an honest sinner, than a lying hypocrite.”



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”You’re a terrible liar,” he stated simply as he finally released her hand, his crimson gaze shooting over his shoulder to catch her expression. Her uncertainty just oozed from every pore. The yelp he heard made his head shoot to the side toward the part of the grounds his sister and her new butler just occupied, though they were still out of sight. His hands balled up into fists as he listened intently at any sounds of distress that would follow, but their conversation eased him, putting back his focus to the racing heart beside him.

”Perhaps this leads to rule number one…” he started while his fingers started a slow decent on his shirt, unbuttoned buttons left in their wake. ”Your well being is my best interest. You are my responsibility and reflect directly on me. It’s better if you do not question me. I know more than you think I do.” Arik’s gaze lifted from busy fingers to glance up at her, his hands roughly pulling his shirt free from his shoulders where he dropped it to the ground. The vampire couldn’t help the devilish smirk that played against his lips as he turned his back to her.

Not knowing it when you looked at him dressed, or from the front, but Arik had a large tattoo that covered his entire back. The process of getting the tattoo took long days and with someone he trusted fully. In order for it to work, he had starved himself for weeks so his body would heal at a slower rate and his skin would accept the ink. There were many trial runs in the beginning to figure out a way for it to work, but to him it was well worth it. His tattoo meant something to him, a promise that he would always remember where he came from and a promise to learn the lineage that blessed him with this ability.

Pulling at the button and zipper of his trousers, Arik dropped them to his ankles and kicked them to the side. He couldn’t help but to look over his shoulder wanting to see the blush that would cover her skin. That he had no doubt of, especially since he hadn't been wearing anything underneath his pants. Another moment and a swift movement, Arik fell to his hands and knees in the middle of a transformation. A sweat broke out over his body while his jaw tightened to the point where he feared his teeth would shatter. His breath came out in quick, powerful hisses as he refused to groan from the pain. Cracks and pops exploded through his joints as his body shifted its anatomy while fur sprouted over his skin. It was a painful process, but a long ten seconds later and there stood a full sized tiger in Arik’s place. Its fur was as white as Arik’s hair, his stripes dark and bold, leaving graceful lines along his body.

Slowly the beast turned. Claws outstretched as he took a step forward, retracting into massive paws as he settled. Sinewy muscles rippled over strong shoulders as he moved forward, a rumble reverberating through his chest as he sat back on his haunches in front of of Aeliya. For the first time in his life, Arik stretched his paws out further and laid his stomach in the grass where he lowered his head to her, his tail silently whisking behind him. Never did he submit to anyone, but he needed Aeliya to trust him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal

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Tanzy McNeal


The young woman's inner compulsions (and thus, her fidgeting) weren't soothed until the royal granted her permission to tidy up the books. Tanzy nodded in understanding, more than willing to follow his condition. She didn't have any intention of taking them out at all, so she vaguely wondered why he'd even suggest she'd be so bold as to relocate his belongings? "Of course." she murmured her verbal assent.


While still puzzling over the prince's mannerisms and his pleasantries, Tanzy noticed him grit his teeth at the mention of the King Regent as she questioned his order. While she was more composed once he pulled his hand away from her cheek, she felt a slight flutter of uncertainty at his tone and his obvious disdain. She said nothing as he confirmed her suspicions that he was not related to the Santiago royals by blood, but secretly wondered about his declaration. Fake? Well, sure, everyone had different behaviors based on whose company they were in and based on situation, but he seemed to imply Claudio was a deceitful individual. Of course she had no knowledge of the older royal, but thus far he hadn't seemed particularly unfavorable a person. She chose not to comment, once more beginning to feel flustered as Damian's smirk returned.

Tanzy instinctively drew back slightly in surprise as the prince drew his face closer with what looked like a playful, or rather- mischievous look in his crimson eyes. Her cheeks began to burn brighter and brighter by the second as he effectively trapped her between himself and the door, whispering teasing words against the sensitive skin of her neck and ear. A squeak escaped her lips as she weakly shook her head. "N-no Highness, I'm...just surprised..." she answered, going tense at the now intimately close proximity.

His next words surprised her far more, earning a nervous thudding of her heart and an anxious glimmer in her eyes. Don't thank him? What exactly was he planning? Something seemed off, but she couldn't for the life of her pinpoint what it was. Uncertainty nagged at her, little warning bells going off as he failed to pull away after his teasing. A bubble of panic began to form upon his face going towards her neck and his hand pulling aside the collar of her dress. "Highn- Ah!"

He bit her.

Tanzy gasped at the sharp piercing of her skin by the prince's teeth, parting her lips to scream, though her voice failed to obey. She had no chance to struggle, feeling his powerful arms (were all men this strong?!) halt all attempts at fleeing. Her hand clenched and opened, testing his grip to no avail. She ceased her movements, letting out only a soft whimper of fear and confusion, squeezing her eyes shut.

While the initial puncture stung, it seemed to only last a few moments, perhaps a minute at most. After that, she almost felt a slight numbness before something else replaced it. It hurt, but somehow wasn't exactly painful. If anything, it elicited a tingling in her nerves and left a sort of burn that wasn't entirely uncomfortable.
Shame and embarrassment in equal measure painted themselves on her face in the form of reddened cheeks, wondering why on earth she wasn't fighting him more. She was scared, but she didn't feel especially bad- and that almost frightened her more.

Finally, Prince Damian pulled away from her neck, seemingly satisfied for the moment. Sinking to the floor on shaky knees, Tanzy gingerly held her hand to her throat as the prince released his hold on her, eyes wide and staring up at him. This was why she was made to sign a lifetime contract. He wasn't human.

"Y-you're....You're a..." she began, thinking back on his words regarding the king Regent. Damian had said he was fake. But then again, could he really not say the same about himself? What about him was real? Did she even want to know?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Demetri Santiago Character Portrait: Luciana Fergus

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"I believe the animals might just be your saving grace as of right now? What are you? A vampire?"

Demetri couldn't help it, a laugh came from him and he held his stomach. It lasted for a good minute or two. Wiping the tear that came to his eye, he stuck his tongue out playfully, "Bingo." He chimed, grinning so his fangs were on display. Though he was a little bummed out that she guessed it so quickly. Oh well. There would be other chances to have fun, and plenty of other ways. Tilting his head curiously, he wondered what she meant by the animals being his saving grace. Did she think she could hurt him? He didn't challenge her statement, but he was confident that she posed no real threat to him. Most humans were poorly versed on how to harm a vampire anyhow.

"I feel like you are, but my knowledge of supernatural creatures is lacking to strictly the few I've read in stories and tales a pair of librarian told me. Please, just what am I actually her for? A blood bank? Someone to keep you in check? Are you even a vampire, or is everything just a strange coincidence and your a superhuman who's entire family is no doubt even more bizarre and terrifying?"

Her words came out like nothing he had heard in his life. Did she even breathe? He could hear her heartbeat, so he knew she was alive, but boy was she on a roll. He did not interrupt her, but merely blinked at her with those blue eyes that uncannily matched the shade of his hair perfectly. When the words 'keep you in check' crossed her lips, a smirk spread across his features. He definitely was someone that needed to be kept in line, in more ways than one, but he knew that no mere human could ever dream of doing so. It's cute she thinks that she could. Demetri thought to himself, already happy with his new little human. He liked the way that she seemed to have a brain inside of her skull. Too many times he noted that a pretty face often was accompanied by an empty brain, especially when princes were involved.

"Considering you haven't hurt me within the few moments of getting me alone, shall I assume even further that your intentions aren't to hurt me... Lord Santiago."

Those words, it almost pained him to listen. He had 'hurt' so many. How many lives had he taken? He had killed so many men and women that he had lost count. In his younger years he had killed many children as well, but in his defense, he was a mere child himself when it took place. As he grew older, as he became able to control himself, he swore to never harm another child again. Hearing her assumption of him, it made him remember just how hopeful and bright humans could be, even in the face of death itself, "You are right, I do not intend to hurt you unnecessarily. However, I have hurt many people in the past, so please do your best to not tempt my...inner demons.." He wasn't really sure how to describe blood lust, he wasn't sure how to tell her that he had been the famous 'serial killer' that nearly the entire country had heard about. Demetri was the 'Asmarian Ripper', but that was definitely something he was trying to bury in his past. With the help of his brothers, he had overcome that urge to kill, but that bloodthirsty monster inside of him was not entirely snuffed out. He could feel it clawing at the back of his mind, begging to be released from its confines. Instead of indulging his inner monster he knelt down, bring two fingers to his lips and whistled. Seconds later a huge wolf bounded straight for them with the most excited look a wolf could have on its features.

It nearly tackled Demetri to the ground, licking his face almost clean off of his head. Demetri just pet the large beast which was two or three times the size or more than the average wolf. It was a dire wolf, and Demetri had found it as a pup. Edward allowed him to keep it, as it was motherless but had assumed it would die. Demetri took such good care of the tiny pup that it not only survived, it had become his best friend, "Meet Leon." He told her, the huge wolf's tail wagging. The smaller animals didn't even seem to be phased by large canine. Though it made sense, Dire wolves only ate large game. After Leon calmed down a bit, Demetri decided it was probably best to answer her questions. She seemed to have a few, and it would be unfair to keep her in the dark.

Smirking a bit, Demetri wiped the wolf saliva from his cheek with his sleeve, "To answer your questions, first off... I've never met a soul that can keep me in check... but you're welcome to try." He winked at her playfully. He gave her a moment to take that in before he even dared to say anything else. He wasn't the type to talk at an alarming rate, not usually at least. He was perfectly comfortable with taking his time and he definitely planned to. There was no reason to rush, at least that's how he felt. The evening was beautiful and she seemed to be enjoying the animals as well, "Second, books are rubbish where the supernatural is concerned, especially vampires... Not that I'll be telling you what's fact and what's fiction." A pout formed on his features as he thought about all the lies told in the books. It was insulting most of the time, but it was also hilarious in some cases. Still, it was necessary to never tell anyone what was false. The misinformation kept a good majority of vampires alive and safe afterall.

Allowing Leon to settle in his lap, Demetri tapped his cheek, "Blood bank... that sounds a bit crude doesn't it?" He chuckled, petting the large wolf in his lap. He knew it was little more than that, well, aside from the other purpose, but he didn't want to worry her too much. She didn't need that information, at least not this early on. He'd tell her eventually, or not, depending on if he felt the need to. Still, there was another matter at hand that needed to be addressed because it was bugging the hell out of him, "Do I need to prove it the old fashioned way?" He pouted, having his vampirism questioned didn't sit well with him. Now that it was just the two of them, he felt a little more in control over his impulses.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aeliya Antolin Character Portrait: Arik Santiago

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"You’re a terrible liar,”

As that was the second time in less than an hour that she had been told the very same thing, Aeliya couldn't help biting the inside of her cheek. She had been under the impression that she was actually rather good at lying, but perhaps it was much easier to lie to her mother that drank herself into a stupor than it would be to lie to the sober prince standing there? Still, it was certainly embarrassing to be caught in a lie, especially as she typically hated telling them. Still, a lie was better than blatantly calling him crazy, wasn't it? A bitter smile formed on her lips, his words reminding her of something Derrick had once said about her, as he was the only person she had left that she could hold dear to her heart, it was bittersweet to be reminded of him, "So I've been told... Pardon my hesitance, but it is very difficult to accept such a claim." She explained herself, unsure if honesty would be any better than false acceptance. As she was caught in the lie though, it was worth a shot. She didn't want to make a bad impression, especially as her servitude would be for life and he had been given full permission to be in charge of disciplinary actions concerning her. That alone was enough to make her feel sick. Thanks to her mother, Aeliya was well aware that there were many people who enjoyed...unorthodox methods of punishment. The small, slightly deep jagged scar on her forearm that was currently hidden by her dress was plenty of proof that she knew the horrors of the world.... as far as violence was concerned at least. She grew up with her mother, knew what she was capable of from years of experience, but this place...Manerium de la Muerte... she didn't know what these people were capable of. Considering they won the war with Eskye, a country well known for it's ruthlessness, she imagined that there was plenty she did not want to know about the Santiago family. She definitely did not want to land on their bad side.

”Perhaps this leads to rule number one… Your well being is my best interest. You are my responsibility and reflect directly on me. It’s better if you do not question me. I know more than you think I do.”

"I apologize for any offense.. Aeliya responded, trying to smooth things over quickly. Lying wasn't something she was fond of, so she felt an apology was in order, but she also did not want to linger on the topic. Although he did not ask for her trust, not questioning him would require a degree of trust, and that was something that would be difficult for Aeliya. She didn't trust anyone, not even the girl who looked identical to her. Even if that girl was actually her sister, she did not know her. Alice was a stranger, they never met, so she couldn't place her faith even in her own family. The only trust left in Aeliya's heart was reserved for God. Religion was all that she had left. Blinking several times, Aeliya's eyes widened when she realized exactly what Arik was doing. Why was he taking his shirt off?! What purpose could that serve? Especially in the gardens? Why did she have to be paired with someone so unpredictable?! It felt like she could have a heart attack at any given moment. As his shirt dropped Aeliya found it difficult to remain composed. What is he doing?! Don't take your shirt off! Aeliya screamed inside of her head as she turned her gaze away, shielding her eyes with one of her hands.

When she glanced at him between her fingers to see if he had stopped, Aeliya saw him working his pants loose and she immediately tensed. Oh my God... she couldn't believe that he was actually stripping! As she saw bare skin she shielded her eyes with both of her hands. She didn't have the confidence or the immunity to watch. Her cheeks were red hot and she was doing her best to protect her mind's innocence despite how he seemed to be trying just as hard if not harder to unravel her. As she heard ungodly sounds, Aeliya kept her eyes off of him despite the sounds terrifying her. He was stark naked!! There was no way in heaven or hell that she was opening her eyes.

As she heard a slightly familiar sound, her hands slowly lowered. Her entire form became stiff. She heard the sound only once as a child. A circus had brought one to her hometown. She did not get to watch, as she couldn't afford it, but she did see the beast in the cage. It was breathtaking, huge, and powerful. It was a tiger. At the time the large cat had been twice her size. Aeliya was only five at the time, but the image of that massive orange, black, and white cat inside the cage had burnt into her memory. Why was there one here? When she realized this cat, a white tiger was not trying to attack her, the truth finally
+ overwhelmed her and she slowly crumbled to her knees in the grass below her, both hands clasping over her mouth to keep herself from saying anything she may regret later. It was taking every bit of her determination to keep from fainting. This...this is him? How? How is that possible...? Her mind was swarming, trying to make sense of it all. Even though he confessed to being a shapeshifter, that was all make-believe right? Stuff like that couldn't be real... Shaking her head in disbelief, Aeliya was struggling to accept it, even though the proof was right before her in all it's furry glory. What did her mother force her into...? What was this family? How did the royal family hide a secret like this...? Her mind was racing too fast, her heart beating so fast it hurt. Before she could correct herself, she was losing consciousness from her panic, collapsing onto the grass.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal

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"Y-you're....You're a..."

Wiping his mouth with a rather expensive looking handkerchief, he then placed it to her neck, "Vampire? Yes, that I am." He responded as unconcernedly as if they had been discussing politics or other dull topics. He had this discussion so many times over the years that it had become quite tedious, though her reaction did amuse him, his eyes sparkling a bit as a brief smirk crossed his now clean lips. His skin had a bit more color now that he had freshly fed, and he kept the pressure on her bitemark, "Vampire blood is sort of a.... cure all, in most cases at least. It cannot heal magical afflictions, but everything has a limit I suppose." He mused, dropping facts upon her, he quite enjoyed sharing knowledge, it was a subtle way of making it obvious that he knew quite a bit despite his young age.

Crimson eyes stared down at her, almost burning a hole into her being as he assessed her reaction. She was definitely startled, but he awaited her response. With one hand he slowly relieved himself of his coat, left in his dress shoes, black pants, and a button-down shirt, "Calm down, dear. I'm not going to kill you. You're more useful to me alive than dead... and we don't feed all too often unless we become stressed or otherwise unnecessarily...irritated." He assured her a silent chuckle escaping him. Even though his tone was somewhat reassuring, his eyes never lost that sparkle of excitement. He enjoyed this, even if it was somewhat repetitive of an experience for him. He was still a young vampire, and fear was intoxicating to him. It's what he was raised to enjoy. He knew no other way. It was beaten into him from a young age.

As he led her to a chair, Damian placed her own hand to her neck, "Apply pressure to that." He stated as he retrieved his supplies, not really leaving room for argument. He retrieved gauze, antiseptic, and medical tape, kneeling before her. He wasn't going to tell her that his blood might have a more intense 'euphoric' effect on her, he doubted she would agree if he disclosed that information.

Hunger satiated, Damian felt much better, more tolerant, but also more mischevious, "Two options love, you can feed on my blood and that will heal within seconds, or we can clean it and bandage it up... Have you decided? I'm prepared for either." he asked, growing slightly impatient. He wasn't the type that liked to be kept waiting when he did not have to. She had a task to complete once her wits returned to her and he wished to tinker with his potions and poisons once again. It was the only hobby that eased his weary soul. His less formal appearance made him appear his actual age, much younger than he had appeared in the throne room, at least that's what many of the servants had told him. He wasn't sure, but he assumed it was because he normally adorned dark colors, but his shirt was pure white at the moment, contrasting his dark eyes and dark hair well. The vampire adjusted his glasses after placing the medical supplies on the end table next to the seat he ushered Tanzy to. He would await her answer, even if she needed a moment to gather herself. He couldn't push her too far.... at least not this early in the game. He would have plenty of time to have his fun as she adjusted to the news, to the new circumstances she would have to live with for the rest of her life. He did not wish to provoke her into doing anything drastic like harming herself or making an attempt on his or one of his sibling's lives. Humans, although frail, were highly unpredictable in that manner.... even the most cowardly found bravery in the most unlikely of places if nudged properly. The occasional kindness would likely make his life far less taxing in the long run...even if she was simply walking and talking food. Beautiful, but still simply sustenance.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Demetri Santiago Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Claudio Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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Bishop Santiago


The human was wise not to interrupt him, but a slight twinge of annoyance flared up as tears began to fall from her eyes. Sure, he had intended to scare her straight, but if this was all it took to elicit such a strong reaction, Bishop idly wondered how long the girl would even last in this castle. Had she been given to any of his other siblings (with his twin being the only exception) she'd be eaten alive. He doubted she'd have lasted a day with Damian. Fear was a fine thing, and a decent flavour, but Bishop much preferred surprise, embarrassment, or worry as far as emotions he liked to taste. Besides, he wanted a pet that wasn't completely pathetic. Nervous was ok. Timid and like a frightened turtle was just tedious.

She spoke as he granted her permission, and he was satisfied she understood his warnings and would be smart enough to not try anything funny. At least that was taken care of. The redhead said nothing as she continued to speak, nearly rolling his eyes as she babbled on about sympathizing with him. Like hell she would understand him. Once upon a time he'd have been happy to share thoughts and company, and would have gladly welcomed warm sentiments. Such times were long past, and he found most others- vampire and human- to be fake, unreliable, or just plain stupid. Most individuals bothered him. Everyone was pretty words and well wishes on the outside, but they just wanted what he could give them.

About to tune her out, Bishop nevertheless was not easily able to ignore chatter of any kind, and instead crossed his arms and regarded Faye silently as she nervously began to beseech him with a request. He scowled at the mention of Damian, inwardly thinking of said vampire's death in order to quench his anger. He managed to not interrupt her bumbling explanation, and looked almost bored as she finished her appeal. For a second, he considered telling her 'no' to see what would happen, but the thought of her sinking into misery and becoming a mopey, tedious mess quickly changed his mind. Besides, he didn't particularly care who the money went to.

"Fine. I'll bring it up with Claudio." Bishop replied, frowning slightly at the thought of talking to the brother he usually respected. He was still sore about not getting his ideal servant, and he hadn't quite forgiven the insult. Even so,he still cared about his eldest sibling and was otherwise loyal to the man. Shoving the thought aside, he looked down at Faye, the human obviously anxious and still close to tears. He again wondered just how long this human would last in a castle full of vampires, but that wasn't really his concern. "It matters not to me. Anything else?" he asked almost boredly, only for a slight grumble in his stomach to remind him of his hunger- and her true purpose.

"For your first task. I'm hungry."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Franklin Gables Character Portrait: Maleah Santiago

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Relief flooded over her and her tense shoulders noticeably relaxed. Maleah's face brightened as he lightened the mood and a warm giggle filled her chest. The worry that she had felt about their relationship suddenly disappeared, joy filling her heart at the idea he wasn't afraid or disappointed in her. Throwing herself forward, the small girl wrapped her arms around his neck and practically put herself in his lap as she hugged him, perhaps a little too tightly. "You have no idea how happy it makes me that you're not scared of me!" Maleah paused for a moment and chewed on her bottom lip. "So... Can I? I don't hurt..." she asked, a sheepish look covering her features. "Please?" She added, batting her eyelashes.


~~~


"Ack, Princess, I - I c-can't... breathe..." Frankie gasped, then rubbed his throat as her grip loosened. "I'm more scared I'll die from your affection than from your fangs..." he grumbled sarcastically. The moment she asked him the inevitable question, the pace of his heart doubled.

"Well, I... no?"

Wait, wasn't obeying their employer's every demand part of the rules of working here? Why was she asking him as if he had a choice in the matter? And even if he did - curse her long lashes and puppy dog eyes! How was he supposed to say no to that?! There was some vampire magic afoot here, he just knew it!

"Agh, whatever!" He burst out loudly and rocked himself forward to sit up completely straight, tucking his legs in to cross them. "You're the first one to ever ask, let alone say please." He sighed and unraveled his shabby red scarf. "S'long as I'm being paid..." he reminded her, brushing the hair on his neck away to expose the goosebumps riddling his bared flesh.


~~~


"Oops. Sorry!" Maleah quickly sat back on her heels, a light blush covering her cheeks. "I forget sometimes." Her hands balled up into little fists and she held them in front of her mouth, using them to hide her anxiously excited smile.

"No?" She repeated, her hands falling disappointed in her lap, her soft lips down turning in a small frown. She wasn't used to being turned down and had no experience in hiding her disappointment. The young vampire made no move to force herself on him, simply sitting beside him with a pout on her porcelain face. The way his heart raced in his chest was far too taunting and the girl began to get up to leave. She may not have been famished, but Maleah could have little control saying no when it came to blood. When he changed his mind, the excitement immediately returned to her and she clasped her hands together in front of her, attempting her best to patiently wait for him to remove his scarf.

Maleah easily and innocently climbed atop of him, sitting comfortably in his lap while her arms snaked around his shoulders. The vampire moved right in before he could change his mind, her nose brushing along his jaw to stop below his ear. It wasn't long before she allowed his scent to completely invade her head, her fingers lacing through his silky blonde locks at the back of his neck. It was too late to turn back now as she quickly and easily sunk her fangs into his flesh. Maleah used the gentle bite, the one where her mark would have to heal on its own. She was claiming him, putting it out there that if anything happens to Franklin, she would be the one to deal with it.


~~~


It felt like Franklin was drowning... in many different ways. As Maleah climbed on top, his hands switched between frisking the ground and hovering over her hips. He had no clue where it was appropriate to put them in this situation. Was anything appropriate about this situation? He sucked in a deep breath, cheeks comically puffed out in an attempt to make light out of this very intimate moment. Chills of this ran up his spine as she touched his hair and her nails trailed over his scalp. She opened her mouth and he tensed, face scrunching up.

"Ow!" He accidentally let slip. Then he started giggling. "Ah... ahaha! Why didn't you say it tic-" That was the moment that something in him began to stir. "-kled..."

He trailed off, his eyelids flickering shut and body beginning to quiver from pleasure. His heart was going into overdrive. A blush began to tint his cheeks until it reached the tips of his ears, dying them a glowing pink. Since when has being eaten alive not been excruciatingly painful?! What the heck is... this... One daring hand moved and stroked her hair after some hesitation. It was soft and light, like how a cloud looked like it was supposed to feel.

The euphoria finally sapped the strength keeping him upright and he flopped onto his back, his gaze blank and face painted red. "What have you done to me," he said bluntly, eyes staring right past her to the sky.

~~~


The taste of his blood on her tongue allowed her to close her eyes in complete bliss, carefully riding out his giggles until he calmed. Was there anything better than this? Her senses began to tune out everything besides the man she currently clung to. The grass against her knees, the cool breeze on her bare shoulders - none of it registered anymore. Instead, the only thing she felt was the way the heat radiated off of his cheeks, the way his heart thudded against her chest and echoed in her ears. His hair was so soft where her fingers laced with it, and his skin salty where her tongue prodded. She was slow in her feeding, suckling the lightest bit and allowing his heart to do most of the work. It was like breaking off the squares of a Hershey bar rather than taking a whole bite out of it.

The sensation of his hand in her hair caused her to fully relax herself against his torso, only to find herself a moment later with her fangs pulled from his skin with a soft yelp, and them laying flat on his back, her hands now splayed across his chest. She couldn't help but to let out a little giggle as her own blush lightly tinted her cheeks. "I told you I don't hurt," she murmured and pulled herself forward, her lips latching on to the puncture wounds to clean any of the blood that was still escaping. Maleah took the time to inspect her bite, smiling with satisfaction at the hickey and clean marks she left behind. "Your taste is wonderful. Thank you for sharing," she purred happily, even when the only thing she wanted to do was latch right back onto him again. Surely he was only feeling the affects of her venom, and not of blood loss. Maybe just a little more?

~~~


"Thanks. And you're welcome," Franklin murmured, running his hand through his hair. His body was still slowly calming down from Maleah's strange poison and he felt embarrassingly sticky from the sweat. "So this is what my job's about, huh?" Actually, this is what my life's now about... forever... he corrected himself internally, very uncomfortable with that revelation, So I escaped the possibility of being in servitude to a vampire only to willingly be in servitude to a vampire. The luckiest person alive, huh? "Let's be clear on something. I'm not just good for a snack, you got that?" He scolded, waggling his finger in front of her nose. It sounded like a joke, but he was serious. This wasn't the line of work he had once seen himself falling into. There once was a very different plan.

The aromas of the cramped work space came back to him, the smell of smoke and the dyes he once stained his creations with. The cool breeze chilling his arms came from the barred windows, open to let the smoke from the smelter escape. He missed turning the heavy pole in his hands, tiring out his lungs from blowing into it and watching the red hot glass expand into a misshapen bulb to be fashioned into something seemly later. He even missed the way the furnace singed his eyelashes and the burns he received from its embers - heck, he even missed the beatings from his master when he messed up and the glass hardened into a lump, or laid shattered on the floor.

The luckiest person alive, Franklin's inner voice echoed and he drew out of his short daze. Wistfulness tainted his features and he didn't bother trying to plaster on a smile. He had thrown away that life for a reason, and he now found himself serving a vampire for the exact same one. His eyelids fluttered shut, the blush from his cheeks finally drawn out, along with the venom that was driving his heart crazy. He stifled a yawn against the back of his hand.

"Will the others be alright?" he asked, speaking for the first time in grave seriousness. He kept his eyes purposefully shut, not wishing to see Maleah's face as he let the next words slip, "They won't hurt them, will they?" The glaring green eyes of Bishop and the smashed glass flickered in his head. "Your brothers remind me of home..."

He went silent after that, his chest rising and falling at an easy pace. Soon it became clear that his mind was no longer there. The young man had fallen fast asleep.

~~~


"A snack?" She asked, pressing her hands against his chest to lift herself off of him, sliding to the grass beside him. "Not a snack Franklin. You're my life line. You're the person that I need to trust to be there when I need you. We're royals, and that means we are constantly in danger. There are a lot of things in this world, and a lot of secrets that we need to hide." She said, a small frown covering her features. "You're not just a snack," she repeated.

His questions threw her off and she looked over to him, watching him. Her immediate answer wanted to be no, that they wouldn't hurt those girls but she couldn't get the words past her lips. Instead, they sat in a ball at the base of her throat.The vampire reached forward and smoothed some of his hair away from his face, listening to the way his heart and breathing slowed.

"I don't know," she finally murmured to the sleeping boy. A soft sigh escaped her lips and she looked around at the darkening night sky. "I don't know," she repeated and took her gaze to him once more. Quietly, she leaned in and gently suckled on his wounded neck, cleaning away the last of the blood on his skin, like taking the last sip of your drink before you leave the table. It looked as if it had stopped so she stood up, brushed off her dress and then bent over to gather the boy in her arms. Carrying him bridal style, she took them back inside and headed for his room, where she would tuck him in and bandage his neck.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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The fact that he listened to her story to its entirety was reassuring, but she could tell he was apathetic to her cause. That did not matter though, as long as her reasoning was heard, as long as something changed, she would be more than happy to put up with his rude expressions. All that mattered to Faye was the small human her brother was bringing into the world. There was little else in the world that she had a good reason to care for. She knew her request was probably quite dull to a royal, as money was never of any consequence to them, but it meant a lot to her, and she was willing to put up with his ridicule if it came.

" Fine. I'll bring it up with Claudio. "


Faye had to admit she expected at least some resistance but was glad that the matter was ultimately settled so easily. It wasn't until he spoke Claudio's name that she remembered there was a rift between the brothers at the moment, "I apologize for asking, but it means a lot to me that my niece or nephew is taken care of." She explained, biting her bottom lip hard. The thought of never seeing the child was depressing, but she soothed her troubled mind with the fact that they would want for absolutely nothing. Well, for the most part anyways. Even if she never laid eyes on her brother's child, she would love it unconditionally til the very last breath left her lungs. That was simply the kind of person that Faye was, it was hardwired into her sense of self, and she doubted she would ever be able to change that side of herself, not that she ever wanted to.

" It matters not to me. Anything else? "


Wiping her eyes of any traces of tears, Faye shook her head 'no'. She knew she would have to toughen up, that much was clear, but it wouldn't be so simple. She was not raised to be thick-skinned, she was sheltered and her parents did not raise her to handle the hardships of life. She was sensitive and mild-mannered for the most part, she did not get beaten nor was she ever told the word 'no' more than she had to be. Sure, she had a knack for adventure, but she wasn't very brave when faced with a person. This was a completely different scenario and she wasn't sure how she was supposed to handle it.

" For your first task. I'm hungry. "


He was hungry? That couldn't be a big deal, right? Just make food? That was simple enough, right? For a second she thought this job would be difficult, but if she was just here to do his errands and to wait on him like a maid was supposed to, this would go by smoothly enough. When they said 'personal' maids it threw her off, but this would be fine now that she knew what some of her responsibilities would be, "What do you wish to eat, my lord?" She smiled kindly, tapping her cheek, completely unaware that he was a vampire. She tried to think of the different dishes her mother managed to teach her, "I won't claim to be the best cook but I can make a brilliant omelette, and I'm pretty good with almost anything in the breakfast department." Faye began, her attitude far more cheerful now that he mentioned something she was good at. Her outlook on things was becoming much brighter as things began to look up. Little did she know his preferred dish would be a little easier to prepare than anything she had mentioned. The tears on her face had dried and she was chipper and prepared to scamper off to make anything he mentioned.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal

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Tanzy McNeal


The casual ease with which the prince confirmed her suspicion sent a slight chill down her spine, and Tanzy bit her lip to keep from letting out a whimper. She had no idea the royal family was so...dangerous. How many people knew their secret? Would anyone believe her if she told? But who would she tell? She flinched slightly at his movement, but she found the reaction unnecessary when she realized he was simply applying pressure where she herself was seconds ago (though she was slightly concerned about damaging the expensive fabric, not to mention it had blood on it that he so casually wiped from his mouth). The maid was silent at his explanation, her eyes glancing at him with uncertainty. Why was he telling her what his blood could do?

Her employer seemed brighter and somehow even more interested than before, and she wasn't sure if this was a good thing or not. His eyes looked amused even as he verbally assured her that death was not his plan for her. She was glad to hear it, but couldn't he just as easily kill her on accident? She was a mere human, after all.

He didn't need to tell her twice to apply pressure, and she did so automatically while allowing him to lead her to a chair. Tanzy watched almost numbly as he fetched first aid supplies, somewhat surprised but grateful he looked to be ready to bandage her neck as opposed to leaving her to manage on her own. Tilting her neck slightly so he could access it, she realized the reasoning for his earlier comment regarding his blood, and she gulped at the thought of partaking of blood of any kind, even if it would heal the bite he had given her. At least he was giving her an option (though she did worry slightly if it was a trick with a wrong answer).

"A-A bandage is fine your highness." she said, face flushed and body tense at his close proximity. After a few moments, Tanzy snapped out of her stunned and frightened silence, suddenly worrying about her family. She had agreed to serve the royal family, but knowing what they were, she feared any reperccusions that could be bestowed for mistakes. Lifting her eyes to meet the prince's, she swallowed nervously, clutched at her skirt and summoned her courage to speak.

"I...I know I pledged to serve you and the royal family upon your acceptance of my request for work. And I p-plan on keeping my promise. I will do my very best to do my duties properly, but..." Tanzy swallowed, her voice and throat feeling oddly dry and soft to her ears. "Should I make any error, will punishment only fall upon me? I do not wish my family to suffer for any folly of mine."

Biting at the inside of her lip and fingers fidgeting nervously in her lap, the young woman looked pleading, and almost hopeful, at the vampire before her.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal

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"A-A bandage is fine your highness."

"Damian is fine to address me by, but only in private. I suppose 'Your Highness' must get old after a while, am I correct?" He smirked, his insanely white teeth visible, the fangs more prominent now that he was no longer making an effort to hide them, but they were not nearly as long. They were slightly longer than normal, but they seemed to expand when his hunger was stirred. From her fingers gripping at the fabric of her skirt to the change in her heartbeat, Damian's senses picked up on every aspect of her nervous behavior. His hands did not miss a beat, however. Beginning to clean her wound with antiseptic on a cotton swab, her hand in his free one for the moment, "Squeeze if it stings." He almost sang, teasing her for the predicament she found herself in. He felt no burn from the liquid, even if he was cut. Things like that had no effect on a vampire but he knew that humans did not favor them. As he was born a vampire Damian had no idea what it felt like, but he knew many vampires who were turned by purebloods that compared it to the burn of vervain, without the scalding of the skin. If it was anything like that, he did not envy her. Once the wound was clean, he placed gauze to it, releasing his hand from hers to begin gently wrapping the dressing around her throat, one of his hands carefully scooping up her long hair and holding it up until he was finished.

"I...I know I pledged to serve you and the royal family upon your acceptance of my request for work. And I p-plan on keeping my promise. I will do my very best to do my duties properly, but..."

Damian could almost taste her hesitance, his fingers running over the bandage he placed on her neck, "Does this hurt, do I need to place more cotton over it?" He asked thoughtfully, correcting it if need be. It was not so much out of kindness as it was curiosity. It was not every day he had the chance to apply first aid to a human. Sure, he had experience, that much was clear from how well he bandaged her throat without tightening it enough to choke her even once. His hands were...skillful, and despite his strength moved with delicate precision, but perhaps that was even more frightening in the end. His physical control was superb, but his thirst was not nearly as easily managed.

"Should I make any error, will punishment only fall upon me? I do not wish my family to suffer for any folly of mine."

Despite it being a simple yes or no answer, for the most part, Damian gave the words of the young woman plenty of thought. He did not want to answer prematurely. False hope was nearly as toxic as a terrible lie. When he was certain his response was to the best of his knowledge, Damian finally spoke on the matter, "It depends I suppose. Breaking an heirloom or two would result in your own punishment... but betrayal or putting our family's secret at risk can result in the total annihilation of your family's bloodline. It is the reason we do not allow servants to send or receive letters. The only letters that ever leave or enter the castle pertain to royal business." He replied honestly. Her pleading look was not lost on him, but the rules were not only his own. He had to take the rules of his siblings into account, especially Claudio's rules. If she did something truly unforgivable there was no escaping the eldest's verdict, as much as Damian detested the thought of it, "Claudio does not take insolence lightly." Damian explained, not that he particularly was fond of it either. He wanted a loyal servant through and through, even if he was a very difficult person to get along with. Damian saw them as nothing more than adorable little pets, and on his worst days, walking delectable blood bags, meals ripe for the taking.

"Is there anything you would like to ask before you begin your cleaning?" He asked, standing up once he felt he had given her a generous amount of time to respond. He wasn't a kind person, he did not actually care, but the occasional kindness would spare him a lot of drama in the end. It was worth feigning it now and again. Or perhaps a small part of him still held a shred of humanity. It wasn't like vampires were born without it after all. Years of secrecy and persecution led to their cruel ways. They weren't always that way, and many continued to fight their inner nature. No vampire was inherently good or evil, they all had an inner darkness, but also a degree of goodness to them as well. Damian retrieved one of his books, knowing exactly where to find it despite the insane amount of clutter. He placed a large pile onto his bed, beginning to mix something at his desk by the window. Whatever it was, it required crushed nightshade as he began crushing it by hand instead of having their alchemist make whatever it was that he wanted. Damian knew he did not need to know how to make anything, but he still valued the knowledge. Knowledge was power, in a sense. No one would know his movements or his motives if he could make his own elixirs and poisons. He did not like loose ends, and having someone else do his dirty work was one gigantic loose end he refused to even consider. Every person Damian ever had killed was poisoned by his own hand, with his own homemade brew. It was unique to him, and no one had the antidote. If his assassinations were executed properly, they were carried out without failure as the survival rate for his poisons was currently 0%, not that he didn't HAVE an antidote, that would be reckless even for him because some of his poisons were magical and could easily debilitate even him if he wasn't careful, "Never, ever touch my desk unless you wish to die a most excruciating death.. I am a herbologist. I brew poisons, but also medicine, many of which are indistinguishable until it is too late." Damian educated her, explaining very well why his desk was so dangerous and why she should never snoop there regardless of how untidy it became.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Damían Santiago Character Portrait: Tanzy    McNeal Character Portrait: Bishop J. Santiago Character Portrait: Faye Vincent

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Bishop Santiago


Faye's apology was met with just as much interest as her request (which was to say, minimal at best), and it was only due to his inability to tune her out that he failed to do so. Her brother was having a kid. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Not his concern. Sounded like her brother had figured himself out and made it ok out in the world. This silly human should be far more worried about herself. Though he could at least appreciate caring for a close family member and valuing their well-being. Only in his case, he only really liked three people, so the feelings didn't extend particularly far.

Slowly but surely, the human seemed to be putting herself back together- wiping her tears and making an attempt to quit wallowing. That was a good thing, though Bishop had a sinking suspicion it wouldn't last long. It was almost enough to make him feel bad as she notably brightened at his first order. Poor pathetic human had no clue. But the feeling vanished in an instant, his hunger far more important at the moment. The young woman seemed to be in much better spirits so quickly, which was interesting enough. But there she was, absently spouting out what she could make and looking oh so contemplative. It was almost cute, in a way. Not that he cared one way of the other what she could make. He arched a brow at Faye, taking a slow, predatory step forward.

"I have no interest in your cooking skills. Save them for your own time." Bishop began, approaching his prey with a slight lick of his lips. He could clearly make out the blood vessels in her neck, the crimson liquid tempting him. Taking hold of her wrist, he leaned closer as if to share a conspiratorial whisper.

"Be still. Struggling will only make things worse." he muttered before reaching his free hand up to cup Faye's chin and the bottom of her cheek and tilt her head aside, exposing her neck to his hungry gaze. Without any further warning, he sank his fangs into her flesh, holding her in place as he drank the warm liquid from her throat. He wasn't rough or unduly aggressive, but he did not take any extra pains to be as gentle like the tender bite of a dear companion. He simply fed.

After several large, greedy gulps, he released the young woman before he inadvertently took too much and caused her to pass out. He offered no apology, but he was ready to cover her mouth and silence her should she scream or otherwise cause too much fuss.

Tanzy McNeal


Tanzy chose not to comment on being told she could address the royal so casually, not feeling comfortable enough to do so even if it wasn't some test. She simply shook her head slowly before keeping still as the prince tended to her slightly sore neck (after all, having teeth just plunged into her flesh wasn't exactly familiar or comfortable). To her surprise, he took her hand in his free one and warned her of a potential pain, almost as if he were offering some solid comfort to combat the unpleasantness. In spite of herself, Tanzy had to bite her lip at the application of antiseptic, a soft, muffled grunt of pain drawn out along with a single flinch. "Sorry..." she murmured softly as he went on to bandage her, feeling more than just a bit silly at having any reaction to having a small wound disinfected. The prince's voice met her ears again, this time asking if the bandaging was comfortable enough. Did it hurt? Well, maybe a slight lingering sting from the punctures, but it wasn't particularly bad, and the bandage was carefully and properly placed. Tanzy shook her head no, face still slightly flushed as he had yet to put distance between them. That, and his hands were surprisingly careful despite what she was sure he was capable of.

For a minute, she feared he hadn't heard her- or, more likely, was ignoring her question, and debated asking him again. Thankfully the silence was broken with an answer at last, though it was not entirely what she had expected or hoped for. Of course she expected they would punish her if she did poorly, but did the nobles of this house really think she'd be bold enough to try and reveal their dark secret? Who would believe her anyway? And why would she knowingly endanger herself or her family like that?! "I-I wouldn't! I know that such an act would be unforgivable, so please don't think me so low as that!" she began, catching herself and fighting to keep her voice a calm and level headed volume and tone. She didn't want to seem argumentative. "Please Highness, I swear to do my duties properly and to keep your secret, all I ask is that any pay be sent to my family as requested in my letter, and they not ever face you or your family's wrath." she knew she had no right to demand anything, and she desperately prayed for the prince to not become angered with her for worrying over her family. She wouldn't be able to forgive herself if this resulted in any misfortune for her loved ones.

His words echoing in her mind, Tanzy began to bite the inside of her cheek as a sorrowful look came across her features. She wasn't allowed to write her family? Close to tears, the young woman fought them furiously, and somehow managed to reel them in, though she looked no less dismayed. "Highness, does this mean I would not be able to send even a single letter? At least the one to let them know I have safely arrived at my place of employment so they don't worry themselves? I would let you read it and seal it of course, so you can ensure I do not write anything you disapprove of." she asked tentatively once she was permitted to ask questions.

As distraught as she was to hear the house rules did not permit servants to send or receive mail, the maid nevertheless found her eyes following the vampire prince as he moved about his room. So many books, yet he picked one without batting an eye. And the wide array of supplies and ingredients was impressive as well. His desk was practically begging to be tidied, but his warning silenced any notions of doing so, wide eyes fixed on his casually crushing nightshade of all things! She swallowed hard, nodding to convey her understanding of his caution. Herbology was something she had limited knowledge in (though not for lack of interest), and she didn't particularly want to find out what kind of mixtures he was creating. She had half a mind to ask why he made poisons as well as medicine, but decided it was probably best not to ask.

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