Tristan sat at his darkly stained desk, plucking the strings of his guitar and occasionally writing out chords; his band mates and closest friends sitting about the room looking bored and unamused.
"Well this is entertaining," Gavin said, throwing a dark blue rubber ball into the air.
"No kidding," Florin replied as he absently flipped through a magazine.
They continued listening to their lead strum away as though his life depended on each note.
"Hey Tris, you every going to tell us where you went the other night," Gavin asked, annoyance creeping into his smooth voice.
The man continued, not listening to anything but the instrument in his arms; smiling as he found his work coming together.
"Oh Lord Tristan," Florin called as he caught the ball Gavin had tossed to him.
"It seems our Master has hit a stroke of motivation since our concert," Demetrius replied as he adjusted his glasses, "he's been writing like mad since then."
"You don't think he's lost his mind do you," Gavin replied as Florin threw the ball back to him.
Flooring smiled, "The last time I had seen him this energized he had met a girl."
The three grew saddened at the memory.
Demetrius nodded, "Yes, I remember, the poor thing nearly lost her life when that wretch found out, if it hadn't been for the young Master, she wouldn't have seen another sunrise."
Gavin frowned, "I wish that hag would find another tree to bark up, she's nothing but trouble."
"That's why I want nothing to do with her," Tristan replied, looking up from his work. "Father is blind to what she is doing and since she comes from high blood he only see's connection and allies. He doesn't know what she's capable of. She's a leech that'll only bring ruin to what my father has tried so hard to keep together." He sighed, slouching in his chair.
"What's the matter," Florin asked.
Tristan ran his fingers through his hair, "I recently found out there is a nest not to far from the Warehouse. It's set to be cleaned tomorrow."
"You don't suppose they're connected to Celeste do you, " Florin asked.
Tristan shrugged, "I don't know."
The room grew solemn, "Has your father tried to speak with the leader," Demetrius asked.
Tristan nodded, "Yeah but you know how Fallen Ones can be, if it hadn't been for Anton, he wouldn't have made it out alive."
"What else can be done then," Gavin replied, spinning the ball through his fingers. "They'll ruin the city if they aren't dealt with soon."
Tristan rocked his chair back on two legs, wrapping his arms behind his head and looking up at the ceiling, "I heard that the hunter clan on the other side of town is going to clean it out."
"Such a waste," Florin replied, "though isn't that the same clan that girl belongs to?"
Tristan felt his heart skip a moment at the thought of the white haired girl, and kicking off too hard he didn't have time to right himself as his seat fell back with a muffled crash against the carpeted floor, crying out as the back of his head kissed the same floor.
The three older men snickered as their master grabbed the back of his head, curling his knees against his chest in agony.
He glared at the three as he stood, rubbing his scalp, "You call yourselves my loyal advisors and yet you sit there laughing, you're all pains in the ass."
Demetrius sighed, adjusting his glasses, "Perhaps if you were to put in some thought before your actions you wouldn't suffer the way you do." The other two continued their snickering.
Tristan huffed, "Shut it smartass," he then turned to the door, looking vexed, "I'm going out."
"Would you like some company," Demetrius asked.
Tristan shook his head, his shoulder length hair swaying, "Not hardly, I need to clear my head."
He walked to the door but turned, "Hey Demetri were you able able to find out anything more about that hunter coven?"
The red-head shrugged, "Nothing has really changed though the wards around it have been reinforced and many of the old entrances have been sealed. You weren't planning a visit were you?"
He shook his head, "No, just asking," he then turned and left the room, silently making his way through the manor to the outside terrace where he found his car still waiting for him from the previous night.
The dark vehicle was sleek and gleaming in the light of the growing moon and twinkling stars. After sliding into the driver seat, he pressed a button on the dash causing the engine to purr to life as the gauges before him illuminated an angry red though none of this could been seen through the darkly tinted ballistic glass.
Putting the car into gear, he drove out onto the silent, illuminated streets. As he drove a soft voice filled the interior as the speakers followed the stereo as it played the new album he had just purchased the week before. His drive was distracted with thoughts of the white haired girl. Her face haunted him, making his heart race at the meer thought of her. He found himself smiling when she was mentioned and to prevent himself from looking like a fool, he would have to force a change in subject.
A short drive later he parked the car and got out, walking a short distance to a vacant beach.
The waves rushed gently against the sand as the wind brought salty air through his hair. He took a deep breath, sighing as he walked parallel to the water.
The water brought back memories, that even to this day, brought him to tears.
The night air was filled with sea salt and the spray of the sea. Tristan ran down the beach as his mother chased behind him, laughing as he tripped over driftwood and into the water, becoming soaked in the warm water, his mother's violet gown also growing dark to her knees as the fabric absorbed the sea water.
"I told you to watch where you're going my draga," she laughed as her dark, waist length hair flew out ahead of her in the wind, her voice like a soft spring rain. Tristan laughed, splashing her.
A voice called out to them as a man and woman waved from the opposite side of the beach.
The two raced up to them, smiling. "Amelia you look lovely as ever. How are you feeling?"
The blonde haired woman smiled, placing a hand over her stomach, "Thank you Lady Valarie, I'm doing ok though to be honest this little one treats me differently than my eldest."
Tristan's mother glared at the man, "You had better take very good care of her Anton. I'm sure you would hate to see me upset."
The man smiled, hugging the woman close, "I wouldn't dream of making anyone so unhappy considering how happy she has made me." He nuzzled the woman's neck with his nose making her smile.
"Do you know if it's a boy or girl," Tristan asked.
Amelia smiled, "We don't know yet little Prince, but I promise you will be the first to know."
He smiled as she ruffled his hair, "I hope it's a girl. She'll be nicer to me than Demetri, Gavin and Florin."
The adults laughed, "And if it's a boy," Amelia asked.
He glared up at her and took off toward the water though his steps didn't take him very far as several loud bangs echoed across the shore. As he turned he was swept off his feet so quickly he grew dizzy.
He looked up into the woman's face that held him close, "Miss Amelia where is mother?"
She looked down at him, tears flowing from pale green eyes, her voice nearly choking, "I'm so sorry little Prince...she's..."
He fought to look behind her, seeing dark hair and a violet gown laying on the ground several yards away, "Mother," he cried as he reached out for her, "Mother please." He watched as a group of darkly clad people came running after them, two stopping to kick the figure laying in the sand before one dropped a knife down over the lifeless form.
Tears rolled from the youths eyes as his voice grew hoarse, "Mother, mother, help mother Anton, please help mother."
Amelia began to tire with the burden of her pregnancy and carrying a flailing boy, "Anton take Tristan."
He nodded taking the boy but stopped his run when she she did, "Amelia what's wrong, we need to go."
She looked back at their pursuers, smiling back at him, "Take Tristan and go. I'll hold them off."
He shook his head, "No, come with us. They'll kill you if you stay."
She shook her head, "I'll be fine, they'll kill the both of you and I just can't bear to lose another part of my family and I can't just leave my son."
Anton smiled, "When are you going to call him our son?"
She smiled, kissing him. She placed her right hand on Tristan's head, "I'm so sorry sweetie. I never wanted this to happen. I'll understand if you don't forgive me."
"Please be safe," Anton whispered to her.
She nodded, "I'll get in contact you once everything settles down, now go."
Tristan watched the woman grow smaller as Anton ran. He watched her fall to the ground as a figure struck her, her cries making Anton cry out as well.
It wasn't long after losing his mother when his father called for their clan to move back to their home country, returning after almost twenty years to commemorate their Lady's passing.
Tristan pinched the bridge of his nose to prevent tears from coming to his eyes, letting go of a deep breath. He knelt down before a set of rocks, remembering this was the place where his mother had lost her life.
"Hey mom," he said. "How's it going?" He sat down on the rocks, looking out over the sea. "Sorry it took so long, You know how father likes to drag his feet. We're doing ok, you're going to be a grandmother this winter, Adrian and Bianca are expecting their first little one in the winter and Marius and Bernadette are enjoying their travels and father is doing ok and even though he doesn't show it, he misses you everyday." He sighed, "I really wish you were here mother. I've gotten myself into a bit of a bind and I don't know what to do. I've met someone and I can't get her out of my head. She's a ball of fire, smart, funny, interesting and the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and I can't stay away." He smiled, "You're probably asking me why I'm waiting, well the reason I'm afraid to make a move is because she's a hunter and to add insult to injury she's from the same clan as Amelia." He laughed, "To be honest she reminds me a lot of Miss Amelia." He sighed, "I suppose I won't know until I get to know her better."
He sat watching the waves and listening to the horns blaring from the nearby harbor. He sighed, smiling as he ran his fingers through his bangs and up into his head, "I suppose I'll go see her now. Like I said, I can't stay away."
He made his way back to the car, driving off into the night.
"Can you hear the cries of the girl who lays dying, the darkness only offering its silent cover."
The band poured themselves into their performance after their last place had been taken, but when they arrived at their newest venue the manager had informed them that all parts of the performance had been paid in full by an unknown benefactor, leaving them excited and happy.
Alona smiled as their fans cheered for them, begging for more.
The show was drawing to a close as Max looked to her, his voice calling out to her over the microphone clipped to his ear, "I think they want more."
Alona laughed, "Naw, I don't think so, I don't think they can handle it."
The crowd erupted, making the structure rumble.
"I don't know, that didn't sound very enthusiastic," Alona smiled.
Max laughed, "Yeah I guess you're right. I guess they really don't want to hear a new song." The crowd roared even louder at his comment.
"Wow, that was unexpected," Alona laughed, "I guess we were wrong."
Max laughed as she chimed into another song, letting her voice rise into the night sky.
They were entering into another song when she felt the familiar flutter as her hear skipped a beat. She scanned the audience until she found the cause, Tristan standing before her amongst the dancing crowd, smiling amusingly and waving casually.
She shook her head, continuing to play.
A short time later he found her trying to quickly load up the dark colored van with the band's equipment, nearly crushing her friend in the back with a speaker.
"Alona can you slow down," Marcus called, gasping.
"Sorry Marc," she replied, throwing Anna's drums in, "but the sooner we are loaded and gone, the happier I'll be."
Tristan smiled, "You really should take better care of your friends and equipment, they break rather easily."
Alona jumped as her heart raced, dropping her guitar case. "Dammit," she swore, picking it up and putting it into the van. "What do you want?"
"To ask you to dinner," he replied smoothly, "It's been bothering me that you won't allow me to make it up to you."
She slid the case further into the van, "How many times do you need to hear ‘no’ before you get it?"
He shrugged, "I don't know, tell me."
A smirk pulled at the corners of her lips as she rolled her eyes, her stomach continuing it somersaults and her chest fluttering worse than ever.
"My answer is no."
He took a few steps closer, "Please Alona, I would really like to get to know you."
She looked up to find he was now just a half a step from her making her heart race faster as she was now able to look upon his slender face, surrounded by a mess of dark hair that looked as though is had spent years being brushed back by his hand; dark, heavy brows sat over almond shaped eyes that were awash in a warm amber that followed his lips in a laugh that only he had; his nose was long and slender without a single crook or bend.
Her thoughts grew hazy the longer she looked at him until a familiar voice brought her back to her senses, "Look buddy, the answer is no." Blinking, she found Marcus had left the van to stand between them, his heavy frame shadowing the newcomers slender build. "I don't care if you are a vampire, she said no."
Tristan smiled, closing his eyes, "I'm don't deaf, I can clearly hear the young lady, I am just trying to extend a hand of friendship."
Alona put a hand on Marcus' shoulder, "It's fine Marc, finish packing up."
"It's ok, I promise," she smiled, "go help Anna and Max."
He glared at the newcomer, "Fine, but if you need anything," and he stormed into the venue.
Tristan sighed, shaking his head, "He's a bit high strung, boyfriend?"
Alona snickered, "No, just an overprotective big brother, though his brother and I did date for a little while."
"Oh, what happened?"
She shrugged, "I felt that I would be putting him and his brother and sister in danger if I had to up and leave."
He smiled, lifting a black guitar case and sliding it into the van, "But you're putting them in danger anyway just by associating with them."
She sighed, "I know, but I can't help it. I love them, they accepted me when my clan didn't, so I will do everything in my power to protect them."
She closed the doors to the van when she felt his arms encircle her waist, drawing her tightly against him, heart feeling as though it might explode from her chest as she felt his lips against her right shoulder.
"What are you doing," she gasped.
He smirked, "I haven't got the slightest. All I can say is that you captivate me and I can't help myself. You're wild and beautiful, I just can't stay away from you. I've never met anyone like you and I want you all to my self. I want to know more about you."
He began to trail soft kisses across her shoulder, stopping when he reached the wider metal chocker that wrapped around her neck. His fingers brushed against the annoying artifact, wincing as a shock went through his fingers, numbing them.
"What is this iubi," he asked.
She placed her fingers against the cool metal that ran from the bottom of her chin to the top of her shoulders, "A charm my brother gave to me when I turned ten, he told me to never remove it because it protected me."
He took her left hand in his and spun her so that she rested against his chest, examining the lock closely, his face growing dark and solemn, as the image of a great bird with its wings outstretched and its talons clenched a bow and a medallion of the sun."My sweet iubi, this is no protection charm, this is a collar to protect those around you from you."
She pushed away from him, "You must be joking. I would never hurt anyone."
He smiled, drawing her close, "I know that my sweet but it seems those around you have a strange fear of you."
She tried to ignore his words but as she thought of those around her, everything became clear; the foul looks to the physical abuse, it made sense and now her brother was siding with them. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she gasped for breath.
Tristan became startled, pushing her away to look at her, "What's wrong my love, don't cry."
She looked up at him, betrayal,and for the first time fear, crossed her face, "My people have treated me like I was an outsider since the day I was born, my only source of love and care came from my older brother. He raised me when my mother died, always holding my hand and guiding me and now he binds me, why would he do that," she wept.
He couldn't stand seeing this side of her and before he could stop himself his lips became entangled in hers as he crushed her against his chest, her fingers clutching tightly to his shirt.
After a short time he released her, resting his forehead against hers, "Dont cry iubi, I want to see you smile."
She smiled, "I'm sorry, I don't normally lose myself like that. I don't like feeling like this."
He smiled, "Yeah well I'm not used to girls being so strong."
She sighed, resting her head against his chest as he rested his chin on top of her head.
The two of them jumped as Max, Marc and Anna ran up to them.
"What's going on," Max growled, dragging Alona behind him, "What do you think you're doing leech?"
Tristan reluctantly let her go, glaring intently at the man, "We were having a discussion that didn't concern you."
"Max stop, it's ok," Alona cried, wrenching her arm from him and stepping between the two.
"Like hell it is," he yelled, "he has no business touching you."
Alona glared, "He did nothing wrong, leave him alone."
Tristan wrapped his arms around her waist, drawing her against him, "Relax iubi, I will take my leave. Perhaps we can finish this discussion another day, tomorrow maybe?"
She smiled, "I can't, I have a matter I need to attend to."
His smile faded, "So you will be a part of the nest cleansing?"
"Yes, perhaps the following night."
He shook his head, "I will go as back up."
She shook her head, "Don't please, I don't want you hurt and besides I was told you don't care for the act."
Before he could speak he felt a stir of a hatered and a second later he was forced to release her as a fist followed through where he had just been standing, Max stood seething, Alona grasped firmly in his left arm as his right was extended.
Tristan smiled, "I will speak with you later Alona, until then." He bowed sat the waist, bending his right arm against his waist, vanishing into the night.
After he had left, Alona pushed away from Max, "Are you insane?"
"You're the one who's insane, you're letting him hang all over you like a set of lovers. If I wasn't mistaken, I thought you were supposed to kill people like him," he yelled back.
"What I do is none of your business."
"It is when you put Marc and Anna in danger and what would Blake say?"
Alona glared at him, "You leave him out of this. He's just as backstabbing as the rest of those fools and as far as Marc and Anna, I would never let anything happen to them."
"Like hell," he growled back.
She threw her hands up, "Whatever, I'm done. I'll talk to you guys later."
She turned to walk away but Anna grabbed her arm, "'Lona don't go, Max is just being an idiot, we know you wouldn't let anything happen to us. Let us take you home, it's a long way anyway."
She looked to her friend and sighed, "Fine, I suppose you're right but I'm sitting with you, Marc you can take my place in shot gun."
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