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Accidents Happen - Prologue

Sometimes, even when you are careful, things happen that you can't predict, or prevent...

The day I died, was the day my life truly began.

"Anna! Anna!" I turned, and smiled when I saw my friend, Cassandra waving at me, hanging from the arm of a dashing young man. I could see that her behavior hadn't improved during my absence.

Still, it was good to see her again.

"Oh Cassie!" I cried, running up to her and exchanging a warm embrace. We ignored the disapproving looks we were getting around us and giggled together loudly. The young man grinned at our immature actions. Acting as though I had only just noticed him, I looked up and blinked ingenuously through my dark lashes.

"And who is your attractive friend?" I whispered loud enough for him to hear. He laughed.

"I am Georges Carlimaine" he answered smoothly, his French accent silky. "And who might you be, ma belle dame?" I blushed prettily, recognising the compliment.

"A pleasure to meet you, Georges Carlimaine, my name is Annabelle Thegora, but you can just call me Anna. Everybody does." He took hold of my outstretched hand and pressed his lips to my knuckles, gazing up at me with twinkling eyes. I giggled.

Cassandra glared playfully at me. "Oh no, not this time, Anna dear, this one is mine, you hear?" she seized his arm again and nuzzled her face into it. Georges and I laughed.

"Don't worry, Cassie, there are plenty of men left. I'll just pick one, or two, or three..." Cassandra rolled her eyes.

The three us of wandered through the marketplace, and Cassandra inquired about my trip.

"It was a bore, having my parents drag me around Spain. They wanted me to revive my noble heritage. Puh! I couldn't care less about where I came from. What matters is where I am, in my opinion. But enough about my uninteresting family trips, what is the news? Every time I turn around, there are people talking about a festival. Have I been gone so long that I almost missed the Spring Carnival?"

Cassandra let go of Georges and spun around in the middle of the street, giggling, her long curling blonde hair fanning out.

"Oh yes! The Carnival You did almost miss it, didn't you? But you are here now! This year is supposed to be bigger and better than last year." She suddenly stopped and grasped my hands.

"We must get you a new gown to wear! You will be the star in all men's eyes tonight! Georges will provide a gentleman's opinion, won't you Georges?" she asked, placing the Frenchman under her intense-blue, pleading gaze. He smiled and bowed to us deeply.

"I would be honoured to provide what you ask, but only for you, ma petite belles." We giggled and Cassandra began dragging me over to the nearest dress store.

Later that night, Cassandra and I found ourselves being spun around the dance floor, in a louder and seedier part of town. Although by then, we both had rather a lot of drinks bought for us.

At that point, we were quite tipsy.

"Oh Anna, Anna!" Cassandra clung to my arm, barely hanging on while giggling loudly.

"What is it, Cassie?" I giggled as well, my words slightly slurred. Not as bad as hers, though. Cassie had had a little bit more to drink than I.

"I feel...I feel like going for a swim? How about you?" Georges, who had come up behind her, let out a loud cry.

"What a good idea, moi belle, we must all go! We would not want you two to drown, would we?" Cassandra laughed and nodded vigorously. Before I could think, Cassandra and I were over each of his shoulders, and we had gone out a back door to the tavern.

"Georges!" I squealed. "Put me down, will you! I can walk!" I laughed hysterically when his fingers dug into my ribs, tickling me. He did the same to Cassandra, who also squirmed, while laughing hard.

"How amusing" commented a voice, which came from within the shadows. Georges spun around, making the two of us shriek in surprise and steady ourselves on his back. We strained to see who was talking, but it was difficult. Georges finally put us down, slowly.

As the man came out of the shadows into the light of the moon, Cassandra quivered behind me, shaking, and making small noises. My slight drunken stupor had vanished, and I felt my mind as alert as ever.

The man was tall, almost inhumanly so, wearing a style of clothing I had seen only once before. But the style was so rare and expensive, that I had to gasp slightly. He had long hair, as black as night, bound with a single band at the base of his neck. It streamed down his back like a midnight river, and two thick locks framed his fair skinned face, accenting deep and startling, blood red eyes.

Even my characteristic iron backbone wavered at his eyes. That colour just was not normal.

"May I help you monsieur?" asked Georges politely, but firmly. The other man smiled and passed his gaze over the three of us.

"Yes, you may."

Suddenly, he rushed at Georges. Not expecting the action, the Frenchman was caught off-guard.

What happened next, made both Cassandra and myself scream. The unknown man, upon landing on Georges, had immediately bit down on his neck.

And tore his throat right out. I felt the spray of blood splatter all over my face, and Cassandra shrieked, bolting immediately.

Instantly, she was seized by the man and dealt with the same way.

Seeing my best friend being murdered right in front of me, I felt my muscles seize up and I collapsed into a heap. I stared uncomprehendingly at her body, whose sightless eyes were wide in frozen terror, blood turning her yellow hair red.

Then, the stranger, who had just killed my friends, turned his head towards me. Blood ran from the corners of his mouth, and he began to stalk towards me.

The spell keeping me frozen on the spot broke and I shuffled backwards. I felt my back hit the wall of the tavern, stopping me in my tracks.

When his face stopped within ten inches from mine, I whimpered a little in the back of my throat, my heart beating rapidly within my chest.

"My, my," cooed the man deeply, looking me over. "Aren't you a pretty one?" I shuddered and didn't reply. I turned my face away, squeezing my eyes shut.

When nothing happened, I opened one eye. The man was still staring at me, but had a sad look on his face.

"So young, so much life..." he looked over at his victims, lying barely metres away. "Too much life..."

He suddenly looked back at me and I flinched, expecting him to finish the job. But he didn't.

"You are a lucky one, young lady." He gave a long sigh, then gazed at me seriously.

"No matter what happens after this, there will be no possibility for you to go back to your life. You have seen too much. I should really kill you..." I flinched slightly. But he only smiled gently.

"But I'm not going to, if you chose to accept my offer." I opened my eyes in shock and felt my jaw unhinge a little. I swallowed, then asked quietly.

"O-offer?"

"To become a fledgling."

I blinked in confusion. "A...what?" The man laughed quietly.

"A fledgling. My fledgling, to be more specific. If you agree, then you will come with me, and stay with me for the rest of your existence. You see, I am not what most would call, alive." He suddenly grinned widely. And when his white teeth were revealed, I barely contained my shriek of horror.

Two, long fangs. Right there, in his mouth.

"You see, little lady, I'm not exactly human."

A noise, not unlike a mouse's squeak, came from my open mouth. He snorted in amusement.

"You become my fledgling, my child in simple terms, and I will let you live, so to speak." He leaned closer. "But to do that, I will have to turn you. Which is not a fun experience, believe me."

"I'll do it." He blinked at my sudden agreement. Then, he nodded slowly.

"Come," he said, standing as he held out his hand. I hesitated for a fraction of a second, then took it. With a jerk, he pulled me into his arms. I let out a gasp when huge, leathery wings burst from his back and with a single flap, we were in the sky.

I let out a scream of fright, clutching the man's tunic in my fingers.

"Not so hard please," came his voice, faint from the roaring wing. I could hear the wince in it. Slowly, I let up my grip.

"Don't worry, my soon-to-be fledgling, you'll get used to this. Once you get older, you'll even get your own."

I didn't care to answer him. I closed my eyes and pressed my face against his chest.

I thought about Cassandra, Georges, and even my parents. I would never see them again. With only three words, I had sealed my fate.

I felt my eyelids prickle, and tears began to escape from them.

Unknown to me, the man felt the tears wet his shirt and glanced down. His expression was strange, but he said nothing.

About one hundred or so years later...

"What are we doing here, Kyreson?" I asked moodily, folding my arms. The low neck of the gown suddenly seemed to reveal even more of my bosom, so I let my arms drop in disgust. "And I still can't believe you made me wear this."

"Stop complaining, Anna," said Kyreson, who didn't stop walking. When I hurried to catch up with him, he glanced impishly at me.

"Besides, it looks good on you." His eyes trailed down my figure suggestively. I attempted to smack him upside the head, but he ducked under my hand, laughing lightly. I felt my cheeks burn and sulked for a moment.

My vampire father grinned at me, but relented in the end. "We are here, Anna, because a High-Level Vampire Lord, like myself, has broken Council law by kidnapping a mortal and using them as a Blood slave."

"Aaand what's a blood slave again?" I asked, frowning as we ventured deeper and deeper into the wood surrounding the castle of the one we were searching for.

Kyreson sighed. "A blood slave is a mortal who is forced to consume small amounts of Vampire blood, not enough to turn them, but enough to keep them from aging and eventually make them dependant on a constant dosage of it. In all essence, after a while, if they don't keep receiving vampire blood, they will die. And the longer they are drinking vampire blood, the more of their will is in control of the vampire who supplies the blood. In a worst case scenario, we will probably not be able to save this one; he's already been a blood slave for several months. His mind is probably already lost to Theros."

"That's the name of the Vampire lord?"

"Yes. And unfortunately, he happens to be an old friend of mine." I looked up at him, surprised.

"And the Council sent you to arrest him? Isn't that a little unfair?" Kyreson glanced down, a sad smile on his face.

"That's how the Council works, Anna. To ensure that the law is upheld, but there is as little bloodshed as possible, they always send a friend of the criminal after them. But you're right." He looked away. "It's not very fair. And in all probability, some day you'll be in a similar position."

I fell silent, reflecting on my father's words.

"Maybe the dress was a bad choice on my part," murmured Kyreson later, after helping me through the window we had just smashed in. The hem of the dratted gown had snagged about a dozen times on the broken glass, tearing it a little. I snorted at his comment.

"You think?"

We crept down the stone corridor, and I mumbled under my breath about the impracticality of a dress during an arrest.

A little later, we came to a door. Kyreson opened it with a single kick of his leg.

Within, was a large and lavish bedroom, all crimson drapes and gold. And chained to the iron bedpost of the huge bed, was a boy, about the same age as me. Or, the same age as I looked.

His condition was terrible. His skin was ghostly white, and his gentle blue eyes were bloodshot. His medium length dark brown hair was dirty and matted. Whatever clothes he had left were filthy and torn. And then there was the blood.

His neck and shoulders were a mess of puncture holes, some still oozing sluggishly, while dribbling down his thin chin were tiny rivulets of dark blood. At our entrance, his still form practically folded in on itself, and his body shook. His arms had clasped his head, and faint noises emanated from him.

I gasped, and ran over to him. When I reached the bed, I crawled next to him and gently touched his head.

"It's okay, we're here to help," I whispered to him. At the sound of my voice, his head came up and stared almost disbelievingly at me. His eyes flicked over me and Kyreson standing by the door.

Obviously, he saw that we were nothing to be afraid of. He took a shuddering breath and spoke in such a whisper that I almost didn't hear, even with my inhumanly improved hearing.

"H-help?" he asked, his eyes wide and vulnerable. I smiled and behind me, Kyreson nodded.

"Yes. We are taking you out of here." At this, the boy let out his breath and started to cry quietly. I enfolded him into my arms and he wrapped his thin arms around my waist. I stroked his head in my lap and whispered gentle words of reassurance.

After a couple of minutes, I inspected the chains binding him to the bed.

They were simple enough to break, so without disturbing the boy, I picked up the heavy chain and with a firm yank, it snapped.

Behind me, Kyreson was getting a little impatient.

"A little quicker, Anna. We need to get him out of here. It doesn't look as though his mind is completely lost yet." I nodded and pulled the still crying boy from the bed. His arms clung to me, but he shakingly stood on his own legs and walked with me to the open door.

Kyreson let out his breath and turned to leave...

And stopped in his tracks.

Standing right behind him, barring our escape, was another vampire. Presumably, the Vampire Lord Theros himself.

"If it isn't Kyreson," drawled the other vampire, his hands on his slender hips, appraising my vampire father with a neutral smile. Then he looked at me, and his smile widened.

"And company. Why Kyreson, I never thought you would become a father, and to such a beauty." Kyreson gazed back at the vampire.

"Theros. It's been a long time."

"Too long if you ask me. But pleasantries aside, why, may I ask, are you trespassing on my property?" Kyreson narrowed his eyes and gestured to me, still holding the boy, who had started shaking uncontrollably at the sound of his captors voice.

"You know why, Theros. You broke the law, and you know what that means. You always knew this would happen, its how the Council works." Theros scoffed.

"I honestly couldn't care less about the Council, and you definitely know why I don't care."

Kyreson just stood there, and nodded. "Yes, Theros, I know why."

Theros gazed at him, his expression unreadable. Then, he switched his gaze to me. I narrowed my eyes, tightening my arms around the boy.

He merely smiled. "And what would your name be, fledgling? I can't just keep calling you beauty, now can I, no matter how much it suits you."

I tightened my arms around the trembling boy and glared at the Vampire Lord. "Not that it’s really any of your business, Lord Theros, it's Annabelle." Theros laughed and raised an eyebrow at Kyreson.

"Should have figured that if you did get a fledgling, it would have a mouth. You never did like the ones who just listened. You always did love a good argument, a good debate."

"Enough reminiscing, Theros. Either I have to bring you in, or I have to destroy you. I don't want to have to destroy you." Kyreson looked down suddenly, clenching his fists.

"Don't make me do it." His voice was low, almost pleading in a way. I looked between the two old friends.

Kyreson's tone of voice said more about their previous friendship than his actual words ever did. And they must have been much more than friends.

Theros remained silent, staring at his friend's bowed head, almost sadly. Then, he spoke, his voice much like Kyreson's had been.

"You'd really fight me? After all we've been through together? After all we've done for one another? And all to maintain the laws of a few ancient vampires who hardly have any human emotions left?"

Kyreson was silent for a long time. When he did finally look up and meet Theros' eyes, his own pair were hard, devoid of anything that would have betrayed his obvious reluctance to do just that.

"Yes."

To that, Theros only sighed. Then, he looked at me.

"Well, Annabelle, you may want to leave the castle. This will not be pretty. And take the boy with you. I have become rather fond of him, and even though I did take him by force, I don't want to see him killed unnecessarily."

I glanced quickly at Kyreson, who nodded in agreement.

So with the boy cradled in the circle of my arms, I hurried out of the castle, not hearing anything until I had reached a good ways away from the castle itself.

Then, the ground actually shook with the force of the battle, between the two, very powerful Vampire Lords.

The boy and I clutched at each other, in fright and for comfort.

After what seemed like years, the shaking stopped and silence covered the both of us. I looked up and stared apprehensively at the tall stone building, the boy trembling in my arms.

Nothing more happened for almost an hour, then someone came out of the castle doors. I slowly stood, and waited with not a small amount of fear.

What if my vampiric father lost?

But when the victor got nearer, I let out my breath.

It was Kyreson. When he got closer, I opened my mouth to congratulate him for winning.

But his expression made me swallow the words.

Kyreson went past me and crouched next to the boy, who looked back at him anxiously. Kyreson smiled at him.

"Don't worry, boy, Theros will never be able to hurt you again." The boy nodded slowly, as if not fully believing it.

I crouched down next to him and smiled as well. "What's your name?"

The boy looked down and stared at his hands, fingering the iron band still around his wrist.

"Theodore." I grasped his hand, and he looked up, surprise in his eyes.

"Theodore huh? How about we just call you Theo? And you can call me Anna."

"And you can call me Kyreson," said my father. Theo looked from Kyreson to me, a slow smile spreading over his face.

Then abruptly, he fell forward, right into my stunned arms. Kyreson grabbed him and turned him over, inspecting Theo's face and bites. He looked worried.

"What? Is he going to be okay?" I demanded. To my horror, Kyreson shook his head.

"It looks like he hasn't had any more blood in a few days, which is very dangerous for a blood slave who has been under vampiric-blood influence for so long. If he doesn't get any more blood soon, he'll die. Or, I could..." Kyreson stopped, indecision on his face.

"Or you could turn him," I finished slowly, my eyes on Kyreson.

I had never seen the vampire look so lost. It was vampire law that a vampire must ask a human if they wanted to be turned. But if Theo was given vampire blood by force, to save his life, Kyreson must end it. I was still too young to turn him myself, I was still a fledgling. There would be too many complications if I even tried.

"Kyreson," I said softly, touching his hand. He looked up and met my gaze.

"He'll die if you don't, you know he will. To hell with the law, the Council can't arrest you for trying to save the life of a kidnapped boy who was forced to drink the blood of his captor."

There was silence between us, as Kyreson and I stared each other down. Then, he smiled and nodded.

"You're right. There is no other way." I nodded as well, and propped Theo up against me, holding his head up and opening his mouth.

Kyreson knelt in front of the condemned boy and brought his own wrist to his mouth, and swiftly bit it. Then, he pressed his bleeding wrist to Theo's mouth.

I bent my head to Theo's ear. "You must drink, Theo. We are trying to save you, but you must drink." I held his hand in mine.

Slowly, Theo's bloodshot blue eyes opened and his other hand came up to grip Kyreson's wrist. And he drank.

With every passing second, the boy grew stronger. And I could see Kyreson getting weaker.

Eventually, after I knew Theo had drunk enough, I pulled Kyreson's wrist away from the boy's mouth. When the blood stopped coming into his system, Theo went limp in my arms.

I knew that he was going to be okay. I was more worried about Kyreson.

"Are you...?"

"I'm fine, Anna. Don't worry about me." He ran his tongue over his wound, and within several seconds, it healed. I let out the breath I hadn't realised I'd been holding, and looked down at the boy.

He was breathing calmly and deeply, with a small smile on his face. I couldn't help but smile down at his sleeping form.

Then, I looked back up at Kyreson. "And now we are three," I announced.

Kyreson grinned tiredly at me.

Another couple hundred years later...

"Can you really think that we can do it?" asked Theo, his ocean blue eyes wide and full of pain and remorse. I squeezed my own green ones shut, tears leaking from beneath the lids. I opened them again and shook my head at my brother.

"We don't have a choice. We have to." No matter how much we don't like it, no matter how much it hurts...

Theo blinked rapidly, trying not to cry as well. "He's a Vampire Lord, Anna. He's beaten, that I know of, Hephaeston, Cerrena, Raylir, Khestava and Theros. Even if we face him together, I don't think we'll win."

"I know." He stared and nodded, understanding what I meant.

He grasped my hand and smiled. "That be the case, I'm glad to have been your brother." I smiled back, through my tears.

"And I'm glad to have been your sister." We quickly embraced, tightly and sadly.

When we parted, we faced the door and opened it, together.

He was the first thing we saw. His hands were bound by adamantine chains, and connected to huge bolts on the stone wall. On his other side, were the browned remains of another skeleton, with a stake still sticking out of its ribbed chest. Just seeing it made me nauseous.

At our entrance, he looked up and smiled at us.

"So obvious," he murmured. "Sometimes the Council is so transparent.."

I managed to look at him, but when I saw him still smiling at us, I couldn't keep it in. I burst out crying.

"Why?!" I screamed at him, "why did you do it?! You knew this would happen, and you knew that they would make us k-kill you. And...and..." My throat closed up and my voice faded.

Kyreson shook his head at us, his smile still fixed in place. "Anna, I now know why Theros did what he did; he couldn't take the restrictions anymore. I understand what he meant...and now I too believe what he believed." Theo gaped at him, and couldn't help his words from coming out.

"But we have been ordered to kill you, Kyreson!" Theo looked down. "This is a lose-lose situation."

Kyreson tilted his head to the side in confusion. "How so, Theo?"

I answered instead. "We follow orders, and we lose you, our father. But if we disobey orders, we lose you and each other. Either way, we cannot win. We can't stand losing you, but we have grown to love each other too much." Theo's hand tightened on mine.

Kyreson blinked, and then his face split into the biggest smile I had ever seen.

"Oh but you have won, my children. You have succeeded in gaining something no other vampire has ever achieved; pure, untainted love for someone other than yourselves. You love me too much to kill me, and you love each other too much to not kill me. And for that, I am so proud of you."

Kyreson suddenly stood, and came at us. Without warning, he seized the both of us, while at the same time grabbing my dagger out of its sheath. He held one of each of our hands, and wrapped them around the handle of the curved weapon. Then, he placed the tip of the blade on his chest, right over his heart.

We both froze, our hands trapped on the handle by his own. The two of us could not break the lock of our gazes on our father's, who in turn, could not seem to stop smiling.

"You say you can't kill me? Here, let me help you." Suddenly, he pulled our hands towards him. As we screamed, my dagger, held by both of our hands, was plunged into our father's chest.

The dam burst, and we clutched at Kyreson's limp body, crying uncontrollably. We were still trying to hold onto him, when his body began to decay. We cried together, even after it was reduced to a heap of brittle bones, which instantly turned into dust when they hit the ground.

And we were still crying when the guards carried us out of the stone cell.

It was only a few years later that I was forced to sentence my own brother to three hundred and fifty years of confinement in the Prison House, for accidentally attacking and killing a mortal.

I didn't see him again, until a couple of years before he was supposed to be released.

And that is where the real story begins.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © All characters and story lines, as well as anything that I make up within my head belong to me. Plagiarism is not cool.

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