The young man walked into the manor, trying quietly to reach his room before the house drew a fuss.
"Master Tristan your father wishes to see you," a man called behind him.
The younger man sighed, turning around to find an older white haired man standing at the bottom of the stairs.
"Can't it wait Anton, I'm beat."
He shook his head, "He would greatly wish to inquire about your answer."
Tristan leaned against the banister, running his right hand through his dark hair, "Fine."
He followed him down the stairs to his father's study, stepping out of the way of a maid who had just left the room.
Anton stepped inside, "Master Vali, Prince Tristan has returned."
The blonde haired man behind the desk looked up from the papers in front of him, "Thank you Anton, show him in."
The man bowed and stepped aside allowing the youth to enter.
Tristan smiled, "Hey dad, you're looking well."
The man looked up from a book, expressing annoyance, "Hello Tristan."
The youth grabbed a book from the desk and sat himself in one of the chairs in front of the desk, slinging his left leg over the arm.
Vali stood, walking around the desk to the bookshelf to return the book he had just finished.
"How was your day?"
Tristan flipped through his book, "It was okay. Had a bit of trouble with the site but it's good."
He didn't look up, "Yeah I found out I accidentally took the stage from one of the locals. They weren't too happy about it but their leader just gave it up." He smirked, "Kinda cute when she was all fired up."
His father smiled, "Been here less than a month and already causing trouble."
Tristan shook his head, "I didn't mean to. The imbecile running the venue double booked. I tried to fix it but you know how hunters are."
Vali's face fell, "What? You ran into a group of hunters. Are you ok?"
The younger man smiled, closing his book, "Don't worry father, your third heir left without a scratch. Besides, she was alone with a group of humans and has yet to be brought into her coven fully."
The older man sighed, "Tristan stay away from her. Hunters are bad news. It was..."
Tristan rolled his eyes, "It was hunters who killed mother, I know. I doubt we'll meet again."
Vali shook his head, "Let us hope."
Tristan stood, placing the book back on the desk, "If that's all, I'm going to bed."
He began to walk to the door when his father spoke.
"I received a message from Celeste's father today. It said that you haven't been returning her messages."
Vali returned to the desk, "It also said that you had called off your engagement."
Tristan sighed, turning to his father, "Yes. The reason I did it is because I feel that she will make someone else a much better wife instead of waiting on a fool like me to settle down."
Vali returned to his seat behind the desk, setting his elbows on the arm rests and placing his fingertips together over his chest, "Son it's time to stop the games. This will be your last show."
"Father you can't be serious," Tristan replied angrily.
"I am very serious. I've allowed you far too much freedom. You are a Prince and shall act as such. Your brothers have already married and settled down; in fact Adrian's Bianca is expecting their first child this winter."
"As happy as I am to hear that father, those two are nothing more than your little pawns. They gave up to easily but I'm not. I'm not ready to settle down and beg at your feet for affection. There is still too much I want to do and Celeste isn't the one. I want to marry someone I love, not someone I barely know."
Vali closed his eyes, "Celeste will be here in two weeks and the two of you will be married then."
"That is all I have to say on the topic. You are dismissed."
"You are dismissed."
Tristan glared down at the man but turned away, "Fine but I'm telling you right now, I will not marry that harpy."
He yanked the office door open and stormed from the room, slamming the door shut behind him.
Vali watched his son leave, "Anton?"
"Why do I feel like this is going to back fire."
Anton smiled, "Everything has a way of falling into place."
"I hope so."
Tristan slammed his bedroom door open causing it to crash against the wall.
"Uh oh," a dark haired young man smiled, "did our Prince have a meeting with his father."
"With a tantrum like that Gavin, I would say it didn't go very well," a blonde haired man replied, placing the book he had been reading on the desk next to him.
"Shut up you two," Tristan growled, grabbing a black guitar that leaned against his night stand.
"Now, now there's no need to get angry with us," Gavin snickered.
"What happened," a red haired man asked from a large window seat as he adjusted his frameless glasses against his face and brushed his red bangs out of his face.
Tristan sat himself next to him, "The old man just informed me that he is forcing me to marry that woman."
"You can't be serious," Gavin replied.
"When," the red head asked.
The blonde haired youth at the desk moaned, "That nightmare makes the hunters look tame."
"She seriously can't get a clue can she," Gavin replied.
"Seriously," Tristan replied, stroking his hands over the strings of the guitar, "and father is the same. I'm not a puppet like Adrian and Marius. I want my own life."
"And to fall in love," Gavin quoted.
He glared at him but sighed, "At least they got wives who love them for who they are. Celeste only wants to use me. I think father just gave up and picked what ever dog came around."
"Now my Prince," the red head quipped, "that's giving dogs a bad name."
They all snickered.
"So what was up with that hottie at the warehouse," Gavin asked with a smile. "She was on fire."
Tristan smiled, "Her name is Alona and from what I gather she had dibs on the place when we took it out from under her."
"Really, did you try to fix it," the blonde asked.
He rubbed the back of his head, "Yeah but she wouldn't have it."
Gavin snickered, "Sounds like someone we know."
Tristan threw a cushion at his friend.
"She's also a hunter," he continued.
"Really now," the blonde replied, "I've never met a hunter that attractive."
Tristan glared at him, "Shut it Florin."
He smiled, "Does our little Prince fancy her?"
"It would be ill advised," the red head replied.
Tristan shook his head, "You're all nuts though I do feel bad for what happened. Can you do me a favor Demetri."
The red head readjusted his glasses, "Yes."
"Find out where they are playing next. I want the show paid in full and I want there to be no interruptions."
The red head stood and bowed, "Yes my Prince."
He turned to the other two, "Now all of you get out, I'm exhausted."
"Sleep well my little Prince," Gavin snickered as he closed the door behind him, laughing when he heard a heavy object hit the door.
Tristan lay on his pillow, looking up at the intricate designs on the ceiling.
He smiled as he thought of the girl he had met, wondering what she looked like with a smile across her lips.
Alona arrived back at the manor as her brother was getting ready for bed.
"You're home early."
"Yeah it was cut short. Our spot was sold out from under us."
"That sucks. You ok?"
"Yeah, but losing our spot is nothing compared to losing it to a vampire."
Blake nearly dropped his glass, "What, are you ok?"
"Yeah, my pride is hurt more than anything," she replied, taking off her boots.
"Please tell me you didn't engage him."
"No Blake, I didn't. I'm not going to waste almost eighteen years on some idiot vampire."
He sighed, "I'm sorry. So we're you able to tell where he's from?"
She shrugged, "His accent sounded mid to eastern European. He was a smooth talker and carried himself like he was some stuck up rich boy."
She stole his glass, taking a sip.
"He was a bit taller than you with dark hair and..."
A blush crept into her cheeks, "His eyes were amber in color and he was kinda handsome.
Blake thought for a moment but he couldn't think of any who would fit her description.
"There is a set of nobels that moved into the area about a week ago but I haven’t had a chance to find out much about them. I suppose since he did nothing really wrong then there is no need to step in, but from the way you describe him, he sounds like a Nobel."
Blake took the glass from her and went to the kitchen, "Nobel’s are vampires who haven't given into their bloodlust and will not kill those they draw from. Some have even taken to trying to create an alternative to blood."
He refilled the glass, taking a sip of the icy liquid, "We try to stay out of their way as they do the same with us but sometimes our paths do cross and it isn't always pretty."
He leaned against the counter, "The Nobel's believe they are the ones who should destroy those who have given into the blood but they can't always bring themselves to do it and when that happens we step in."
"I see. Why didn't we learn this in school?"
Blake smiled, "Because our older elders are a bit one sided. Yes vampires are a hundred percent dangerous but not all of them are mindless animals and some can be trusted to some extent."
Alona leaned against the door frame, "Have you met a Nobel?"
He frowned, "Yeah, mom was close with one. He was okay but it was his fault mom died and I almost lost you."
"You told me mom was out hunting while she was pregnant with me when she was attacked."
"Yeah well no one likes to talk about it since being in contact with a vampire is against the law so she's still considered a traitor."
"But she isn’t..."
He smiled, shaking his head, "She isn’t. She was one of the best hunters we had and she held our laws in the highest regard though you would have given her a good run."
Alona wrapped her arms around herself, "I wish I had gotten the chance to meet her."
He put his right hand on top of her head, "She loved you."
She smiled, "I hope so."
He smiled, changing the subject, "Hey, since you're free tomorrow then you'll be able to attend the full ceremony."
She smiled, rolling her eyes, "Yes."
He smirked, "Could you do me a favor? It would really boost the graduate’s moral."
She looked at him skeptically, "What?"
He scratched the back of his head, "Well as you know, the graduating class gets to choose the entertainment."
"Well the majority of the class has been begging for a concert..."
She scowled at him, "No, absolutely not. They don't deserve it."
"Alona, please, they don't even know it's you when you're wearing the wig."
She rolled her eyes, "What do I get?"
He smiled sheepishly, "The joy of your classmates and my undying gratitude."
Annoyance crossed her face.
He shrugged in defeat, "Fine... what does my eternally beautiful sister wish for?"
She smiled, "Take me on that hunt you have planned next week."
He glared down at her, "No, that hunt is for the more experienced."
"No deal then."
"Take me or no deal."
He sighed, "Fine."
He smiled, ruffling her hair, "Did you have a good night?"
She smiled, "It was great. We put together three new songs which finished another album and for graduation the guys gave me amazing gifts."
"That's great," he replied excitedly as she showed him the items.
The two went to bed a short time later.
Alona looked up into the violet canopy of her bed, thoughts of the vampire she had met invading her dreams as she drifted off to sleep.