• Chapter One

    Rapid footsteps could be heard running down the long, dark corridor of the old Gunhill Mansion . This place has been abandoned since the Victorian era. As old as it may be it still is in good shape and still stands. Old Gunhill himself used to own a set of farms back in the day. Thanks to his crops he became one of the richest people in all of Italy at the time.
    Coming out of a dark hallway inside the mansion was a panting girl with fear painted all over her face. Turning into another dark hallway the girl stopped running, placed her back against the wall as her skirt followed her around the corner. The outfit she was wearing made her look younger then she actually was. It was a two piece dress that you could, if necessary, rip the skirt off - which she did.
    Pulling out from the leather gun holster that was placed just below the hemline of her sky blue shorts was a uniquely built Luger*. Pure gold exterior and carved on the neck of the gun in white was Temple Dancer * in bold. Looking down quickly seeing how much silver cross melted bullets were left.
    “Three. That isn’t enough to kill all the scum in this tainted manor.” She whispered as softly as possible to herself as her head turned to the edge of the wall. Her face now serious as the gun she held with both hands against her chest. Slow, dragging footsteps could be heard from the corridor from which she came.
    “Little Kitten, come out; come out, where ever you are.” The voice of a male said, obviously belonging to whoever was making the footsteps. The girl’s face filled with disgust as she heard the pet name the man gave her. “Kitten, come out and play. I am not going to hurt you… much” The male was hesitant on the last word and just by the sound of his voice she could tell he was smirking.
    The footsteps stopped just a few feet from the turn that lay in the hall. ”I know you’re there, Kitten. I can hear the sound of the blood racing through your veins. I smell the scent of fresh lilies from your hair.” He was still smirking. “If you don’t come out right now, Kitten, I am going to screw you and hurt you ‘til an inch of your life. Then I am going to drain all the delicious, thick blood from that tiny body of yours.”
    Finally getting sick of his voice she quickly turned the corner and faced the man. He was a fat chubby man with glowing green eyes. His balding head accentuated his long curly beard that nearly reached the floor. A smirk was spread across his lips before turning into an outright grin which showed his extremely white, sharp canine teeth. Her gun was held out, aimed between his eyes and was ready to fire.
    His pale fingers placed themselves in his poke* and he then pulled out a cigarette and a lighter in one quick sweep. Placing the cigarette in his mouth he lit it before throwing the lighter behind him. Taking a puff, he glanced up at the girl he had referred to as kitten a moment ago. Exhaling, he made the whole hall fill with smoke. “ Temple Dancer . Who would’ve thought that you and my ‘Kitten’ were the one and the same?” The man said, now concealed in his cigarette smoke.
    “Ambrose Gunhill. Due to the crimes you have committed after being set free are both against the law of the Vanguard and of the Vampire royal family. Upon knowing this, the Vanguard sent me to exterminate you once and for all. Do you have any last words?” she stated holding her gun steady. A ring of maniacal laughter reached her ears emanating from Ambrose.
    Looking around the room, Dancer found him hiding on the ceiling above her. His fangs extended with drool coming from his mouth. He leaped at her, his speed making his entire body as a projectile shot out at her. Dancer dodged his assault by jumping into the smoke which still lingered in the hallway. Then, with one swift motion she turned around and fired her gun just as the vampire turned his head to see where she was. Bang! Bang! Bang! The gun fired its three final shots run into both eyes of the vampire and the one into its forehead. Once the bullet pierced the brain the vampire’s body turned into ashes almost instantly.
    The ash and smoke quickly dispersed and the only smoke that was left was the steam coming out of the tip of her gun. Another set of footsteps could be heard in the distance growing louder as is someone drew closer. Even though she knew she had no bullets left, she still turned around and pointed her gun at the tall man that had walked up behind her. She quickly realized who the man was; she placed her gun back in its holster and slapped her hand against her face. “You’re late Prince Damian” she said.
    The man behind her smiled down at her and placed a hand on top of her head. “Hey Artemis, sorry I am late; I had to stop by the local blood bank.” He joked as the smile grew into a grin - showing his bloodied fangs. “Oh, I also took care of our little zombie problem.” He patted her head softly then quickly pulled it away, remembering that she hated it.
    A soft growl could be heard from Artemis’ throat, though it wasn’t threatening. She glanced up at him and then looked at his clothes. A nice black tuxedo underneath a long trench coat and over his shoulder was a bindle*; on his head was worn a huge leather hat. She stared up at him and shook her head. “You have been sleeping outside again, haven’t you?” She frowned, but then smiled sweetly up at him.
    “And what if I have, Artemis?” Damian replied. Placing his hand on her head he patted it softly before leaning his head down and kissed her forehead. “I am going to do it again tonight, so will you please join me?”
    Thinking for a second she nodded, still smiling. “But never pat my head again. Do you understand me?” She threatened; drawing her pistol out of its holster quicker than you could say ‘bon giorno’ and pointed the tip of the gun right under his chin.
    “Okay, okay! Deal. I won’t do it again.” He stated with a sheepish looking smile before he, as fast as lighting, grabbed the gun placed it back into its holster and then picked Artemis up in his arms. A soft yelp could be heard from her as she wasn’t aware of his actions until he just stood there with her in her arms.
    Within the blink of an eye, the two were outside the manor and a few miles away. Damian ran into a cave before stopping. The screech of him stopping echoed through the whole damp, empty cave and once it was gone he placed Artemis down on her feet only to have her fall to her knees. “Never… Do that... Again…” She stated shakily trying to get to her feet only to fall again.
    Damian chuckled a little before taking his bindle* and unrolling it to make a bed for one. He walked back over to Artemis then he picked her up once again and walked back to the makeshift bed; placing her in it before laying down next to her. She opened her mouth to speak but he just said “shhh”, putting a finger over her mouth to make her close it. Tunes start humming from his throat calming the atmosphere around them. “Damian, stop this. I am fine. I need to head back to H.Q. and report in.” she whispered as her eyes grew heavy.
    “It’s ok, Artemis, don’t worry. I’ll bring you there tomorrow. You’re pooped* and you need to rest.” He said, staring at her like he would when you cared about someone or something a lot. He started humming again while letting his hand play with her hair until her eyes completely closed and her heart rate and breath went to a slow and even pace.

    Chapter Two

    Once Artemis was out cold Damian got up quietly and left the cave knowing that the animals around it would protect it from the other vampires and even from the vampires’ enemies - the Lycans. Rushing off he headed back to the manor and walked down the halls until he found the pile of ashes still in place. ”You fool. Thought you’d run away and disobey the laws of both the Vanguard and of the Royal family, did you?” He said, spitting on the pile.
    Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a bottle of holy water; opened the cap and then poured the water over the ashes. A sizzling sound could be heard from the ashes as it turned to steam. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” He said before walking through the halls and ended up in a library. It was rather huge and from what Damian could tell had all the old books he used to read, as well as the documents of all the servants, workers, and ancestors that lived here in this manor so long ago.
    Scanning over the covers of the books, he placed his hand on one and pulled it out. The book was old and dusty. He opened it and found notes of the workers that plowed his farms and such. He read though the book quickly before stopping at one page. The title of that page was Wingales. “Wingales?” He asked himself before scanning the page.” What is Artemis’ last name doing in the record books?” He was baffled at the sight of this. Reading some more he found out about Artemis’ family history. How her first ancestor worked for the lowlife that used to own the manor.
    He found out that the mother was a tart* of a woman and the father was a stable buck*. The man that started her family history was a very unique man who would do absolutely anything that he was told to do. As for his wife, well, that was another story. “That explains why she is like that around a certain time of day.” He whispered to himself.
    Taking the book into his arms he left the place once again. Instead of heading back to the cave, he headed north to the small village that was located not too far from the manor. Stopping on top of a roof, he stood there with the full, blood red moon behind him. He had lied before about feeding and now was the time to do so.
    Standing there, waiting on that roof for someone to walk out of one of the houses or the pub. His eyes turned into a dark crimson and shifted murderously around at every sound - thinking it was his pray. Then out of nowhere a young teenage boy popped his head out the door one of the houses. He walked out slowly lake a rabbit when it goes out of his den. Cautious; although unknowing to the danger.
    Damian stared down at the boy, he grinned a crooked grin that showed his fangs once again, but this time they were extended and almost longer then his mouth. He eyes his pray as he walks out in the open. With no second to waste, Damian lunged straight down to his meal. Driving his fangs into the skin of the boys’ neck he gulped the rushing blood out down greedily. Few moments passed as the boy went limp in his grip, his heart slowed to a stop as he breathed his last breath. Dropping the body, Damian stepped away and stared down at the boy he had just killed. Getting a good look he saw that the boy was young, but was also a shoemaker’s son just by his clothes on his back. Closing his eyes the blood started to react as the boys memories flooded his mind. From the day he opened his eyes as a baby to the moment his heart stopped.
    Opening his eyes again he looked down again at the boy but this time to notice that next to him was a small bag. In the bag was a pair of nicely made mules*. “I’ll give these to Artemis. I don’t think she will be able to handle walk in those pumps much longer.” He said while picking up the bag and throwing it over his shoulder. He then ransacked the boy pockets quickly trying to stay away much longer and found out that the kid was jacked*. He took the kids loot out of the pockets, then as quick as he’d come he left leaving - only the body in the street.
    He rushed back to the cave to see if Artemis was still asleep and she was. Breathing peacefully in her deep sleep she was unaware of his leave or return. He bucked* the sack that held the loot and the mules on the ground before taking the place next to her like before. Though he couldn’t’ sleep he just laid there next to her watching her dream and entering her mind to see what she was dreaming of - all night long.