Chapter 1The air was cool and calm, but the sounds of the forest outside were unusually quiet. The young man, barely in his late thirties, veered off the busy street and turned down a dirt road. His teenage daughter gazed at him with inquisitive eyes, "Dad, where are we going?"
He grinned at her and said, "We're going on an adventure. Off the beaten path, in the wild of the unknown!"
She rolled her eyes at him before saying sarcastically, "Really Dad? Can't you just say we're going to look for moose?"
His grin widened. "Nope!" They continued in silence for a time, on the lookout for moose. The sky grew pink, and the sun began to sank below the horizon, but they kept going along the dirt road until it grew too dark to see. When the young father switched his headlights on, however, he could barely differentiate between the road they were traveling on and the trees to either side of them. The road had curved many times while they were on it, and he could see no hope in backing out of it. So, with a sigh, he stepped on the gas and proceeded cautiously down the road.
His daughter was long since asleep by then, and he rode in silence for around twenty minutes before he saw something up ahead. Hidden in the trees there stood a large and very ominous-looking stone gate, with a massive gargoyle standing atop each side of it. His eyes widened, but he steeled himself to go on ahead.
It wasn't too long since he passed the gate — maybe two minutes or so — when a grandiose victorian mansion came into view. It had one main section, with a great black stone door in the front which stood nearly fifteen feet high. There was also an entire two wings of the house that were attached to the main one, though through the distance and darkness he couldn't make out their individual features. To the right of where he was parked, there stood what seemed to have once been a horse stable of sorts, although in recent times had been remodeled into a three car garage.
He gazed in awe at the wonders before him, but his daughter's snores shook him from his daze. Now having room to maneuver, he turned the car around, preparing to leave the way he came. But he never had the chance. For from the moment he had entered the premises, a presence had realized he was there. It was this presence that closed the great stone gates, leaving him and his daughter trapped in the grounds of the lifeless mansion.
The young man thought of waking his daughter, but didn't want to disturb the peaceful look on her face. So, sighing, he turned the car off, and, taking the keys from the ignition, stepped outside into the night air. It was June, but somehow Maine always managed to be cold, especially at night. Even with the air already chilled, with each step he took toward the mansion, he could swear the temperature dropped at least a degree.
Slowly and cautiously, he ascended the front steps and stood by the stone door. A grotesque stone knocker protruded from the middle of it, and he reached up to grasp the handle. The stone was cool against his touch, the knocker heavy. When he let it go, the sheer weight of the knocker was enough to open the door.
The man stepped forward into the darkness, more cautious than ever now. He entered into an exquisitely decorated yet slightly depressing hallway and started to look around, searching for any signs of life. "Hello? Anyone there?"
The presence from earlier smiled at his fear. She was a predatory creature by nature, but had long since been deprived of the hunt. The silence around her amplified the sound of his heartbeat, and her mouth began to water. Fresh, warm blood. That was the only thought that filled her mind.
She waited until he entered the next room — a foyer as it were — and stood beside her small writing desk tucked into the corner. She watched him for a minute or so, but soon grew bored. As soon as he had his back to her, she snuck over to the front door, slamming it shut in one fluid motion.
He jumped a little, and he whipped around to face her. Her face was white as a sheet and her lips were as red as rubies. Her eyes, black as night, bored into his soul. He stared at her inquisitively for a second or two. "What are — " But then, she smiled, and as the skin of her lips stretched across her teeth, revealing her nearly inch long fangs, the inquisitive look on his face morphed into one of pure terror. "Vampire."
The vampiress laughed softly. "Yes, little human. I am a vampire." Her smile widened at his fear.
He backed up a few steps, tripping over some piece of furniture and landing on the ground. "W-what will you do to me?"
She was by his side in an instant. "I don't know, little one," she whispered in his ear. "You're too..." she paused to caress his cheek, which he pulled away from, disgusted, "pretty to kill." Smiling wide, an animalistic look filled her eyes, and she snarled, "But I haven't had fresh blood in over a century."
He pitifully tried to back away from her even further, but his back hit the wall. She knelt before him, baring her fangs. His eyes were tightly shut and he whispered, "P-please don't kill me."
Her eyes glittered, and she placed a finger upon his lips. "Shhhh."
Her lips were upon his neck when he whispered, "P-please. I-I don't wanna turn my daughter into a-an orphan."
She recoiled, as if struck, and lifted her lips from his delectable-looking neck. Looking him in the eyes, she asked, "You have a daughter?" Her voice was curious, and didn't hold as much malice as it did a second ago. He kept his eyes tightly closed, and didn't respond. Furious, she banged her arm upon the nearby writing desk and bellowed, "Answer me!"
He began to tremble, and when he opened his eyes, his pupils began to shake. He nodded furiously, "Y-yes I have a daughter."
She took a deep breath. "Where is she? Is she home with your wife?"
His eyes twinged with sadness as he said, "S-she's right outside in the car, sleeping. M-my wife is dead. Died two years ago."
Her face softened. "I'm truly sorry for your loss." She turned away from him, looking off into the distance. "My mother died when I was young as well. It's not something you ever quite get over."
There was silence for a time, until the young man got up the courage to say, "What happened to her?" She turned and looked at him, and he quickly added, "I-if I may ask."
She smiled sadly, showing no teeth. "It is alright. There is no harm in asking questions. She died of what you now call cancer."
His eyebrows furrowed, and he asked, "Vampires can get cancer?"
She shook her head softly. "No. She was human, like you."
"Then you weren't —"
"Born a vampire? No. I was turned when I was barely out of my teenage years, just after my mother's death." She gazed at his face, studying it. A short silence ensued, and then she offered him her hand. "Come. Let's get your daughter out of your car."
He reached for it at first, but then recoiled as if thinking better of it. "W-what're you going to do to her?" Putting on a brave face, he added, "I-I won't let you harm her."
She chuckled softly. "Hon, you don't have any choice in the matter. But don't you worry, alright? I won't harm her, of that you can be certain." She smiled, not showing her teeth, and he cautiously took her outstretched hand. She pulled him to his feet, and he stood awkwardly before her, grasping his elbow for reassurance. "What are you called, human?" She asked, cocking her head slightly.
He looked up at her. "My name is Sebastian Evans, and my daughter's name is Scarlett."
"You may call me Nissa." She nodded once, as if that was settled, and then proceeded to walk toward the front door, expecting him to follow her. He did, and they walked into the cool night air. They were almost to the car when he stopped. She didn't notice for a second or two, but then stopped and turned around. "What is it?"
"It's just..." He paused, unsure. "I know you said you wouldn't harm her, but..."
"I understand. You don't trust my word." Nissa's eyes glittered with malice and she added, "That's wise of you." With a speed the likes of which he had never before seen, she ran to the car. She smiled a wide toothy smile at Sebastian before placing her hand on the car. His eyes pleaded with her, but she ignored him.
All at once, she applied force to the car, shaking it vigorously. The teenager inside woke with a start, and her father ran foolishly toward Nissa. "What are you doing?!"
She grasped him by the arm, pulling him tightly against her. "Making sure I have an audience." She looked to his daughter, who had her hand over her mouth in silent agony. She held him fast to her, and slowly but purposefully leaned toward his neck.
His pupils shook, and he whimpered softly. "P-please, not in front of my daughter."
Nissa whispered, her mouth moving against his neck, "But that's the point, little one. She'll come to her father, and then I'll have you both." Her teeth extended, and with ease they broke the skin on his neck. It felt odd at first, as though he was in a pleasant dream. But then, the fangs began to burn. Hotter and hotter they became, and a pain seared through him. He began to scream as she drank his blood, and it drove her into a kind of euphoria. The fresh, warm blood against her lips, coupled with his delectable screams, fed her sadistic nature. She sighed from sheer pleasure. But after a minute or so, she could feel his life force beginning to ebb away, and his screams became less pronounced. It took almost all the willpower she had to pull away. When she did, Sebastian fell to the ground, the blood loss causing his legs to give out from under him.
Like Nissa predicted, upon seeing her father's collapse, Scarlett raced from the car to his side. "Dad! Dad, wake up! Please!"
She sobbed loudly, and Nissa reassured her. "He is only passed out, young one. He will be fine in an hour or two."
The young girl whipped around to face her. "What did you do to him?!" Her tone was accusatory, but not scared in the slightest.
Nissa smiled widely, her fangs dripping with blood. "You saw for yourself, didn't you?"
Scarlett's eyes widened. "You're a... vampire."
"Yes." She took a step toward the young human, who bravely stayed by her father's side. "You are both mine now. There is no escape. Come."
"Like hell I'm yours! No way am I leaving him."
Nissa sighed. "Fine. Have it your way then." In a flash, she had taken Sebastian into her arms, and was walking toward the mansion when she stopped. "Are you coming then? Or shall you leave him to face me alone?"
"No. I'm... I'm coming." Nissa nodded, and continued walking toward the mansion. Scarlett had to run to keep pace with her, and before long the two were stepping through the front door.
They took turn after turn, until Nissa stopped in front of what looked like a bedroom. "You will stay in here for the time being. I would put you in separate rooms, but I think I'm correct in assuming that you'd rather not leave your father?" She looked to Scarlett, who nodded. "Good. Then follow me." She led the way into the room, and the young girl followed close behind. The room was furnished with two four poster beds, and contained a small kitchen. It had a wooden door in each of the far corners, and would have given an appearance of elegance if not for the iron bars splitting the room in two. "This is where you will live for now. I will lock you in during the day, and you will be let out at night. Through the door on the right lies a modest bathroom, and through the door on the left you'll find a small game room."
"You'll lock us in during the day?"
"Yes. That is when I will expect you to sleep."
"Will you be sleeping then as well?"
Nissa's eyes narrowed. "That is a dangerous question, young lady." She paused, considering. "But no, I won't be sleeping then. I have no need for it, and haven't slept in nearly six hundred years."
Scarlett's eyes went wide. "Six hundred years?"
"Yes." With that, Nissa pushed the young girl into the cell, walking in behind her. She gently placed Sebastian on one of the beds, and turned to leave. "I will see you tomorrow. Until then, I will try to find some food for you two. Alert me when he wakes by ringing this bell." She pointed to a medium sized bell on a string attached to the ceiling near the door to the cell. "And be forewarned. Any attempt to escape will be met with fierce consequences." With that, she turned and stalked out of the cell.