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From Light Into Darkness
Chapter 3
By: DarkenAngel

	I felt their gazes upon me as I entered the room. I looked into the eyes of
each one, seeing the same coldness about each, caused no doubt by years of
suffering and hardships. I could see that pain could not easily find them now,
nor could death grasp them in its icy grip for long. I took in a breath to try
and calm myself, and clasped my trembling hands in front of me, trying to show
no fear to these creatures. There were three men in this sitting room, and two
women. The men stood at the window and the women sat upon the plush sofas,
regarding me with their cold stare. My heart, disobeying my mind's will, began
to beat at a frantic pace. Alexander grasped my arm, a silent message telling me
to calm down.

	Two of the three men came from the window and greeted Alexander with
friendliness and also with a deep respect that made me wonder what power he had
over them. They came to me, smiling, their eyes losing some of the coldness I
had noticed. One man who had fair hair and brown eyes took my hand and bowed
over it, introducing himself as he did so, saying, "Bon soir, Madame Devereaux.
Permettez-moi de me presenter. Vincent Montage."
I curtsied to him and murmured, "Enchanted, Monsieur Montage." He nodded to
Alexander approvingly and stepped back to allow the other vampire to come closer
to me.

	"I am Stephen MacLeod, an old friend of Alexander's." He greeted me in English
strong with an accent that may or may not have been German, as bowing over he
kissed my hand as Vincent Montage had done. I saw his dark brown hair and green
eyes and noted that none of the men wore wigs, as was fashionable, but all had
their hair pulled back with ribbons. My attention was drawn away from this one
when the women stood and came to me, each smiling slightly and telling me their
names. The one with blonde hair and blue eyes was April Montage, the companion
of Vincent, and the other, who had hair red as fire and eyes as green and
sparkling as emeralds, was named Juliet, companion of Stephen MacLeod.

	I marveled at their ivory skin, lighter than even my own. They had a mysterious
quality about them, and they walked without a sound, as if they were accustomed
to moving as hunters among the hunted. I pushed the thought quickly from my
mind. Juliet smiled, amused, and I warmed to her immediately, while toward April
I was still slightly uneasy. The way she gazed at me . . .

	Alexander and the men were discussing something quietly amongst themselves and
Juliet began a conversation with me, while April watched the two of us silently.
I looked around the room in order to avoid her stare, and my eyes came to rest
on the man that had not come to greet me as the others had. He stood leaning
against the wall, one pale finger holding the velvet curtain back so he could
watch what happened below. My courage having somewhat returned, I politely
excused myself from Juliet and walked over to him.

	Alexander started to say something when he saw me approaching this man, but
Stephen silenced him, telling him to wait before interfering. I stopped beside
the man and placed a hand lightly on his arm. He did not turn to look at me and
did not even acknowledge my presence. "Hello, Monsieur. I am Christine
Devereaux." I whispered to him. Still no reply. "Will you not even grace me with
one glance into your eyes, Monsieur?" I asked him, a bit harsh, unnerved by his
silence. I could sense Alexander's desire to come to me.

	At this last bold statement, the man turned and looked at me. I was shocked
momentarily by the beauty he possessed and yet frightened by what I saw in his
eyes, his midnight-black eyes, lighted by a fire that seemed to come from
within. His hair was as black as the eyes I had just glanced into, both of which
stood out against his white skin. "Comment vous appelez-vous?" I asked him.

	"Raven." he said softly, turning back to the window. I waited a moment to make
sure this was all he would say to me and then went back to Alexander. He took my
arm protectively, staring back at Raven with a look of hatred. I was not able to
dwell on it, for Alexander was bidding his friends farewell, and leading me out
into the hall.

	"What is the matter, Alexander? Why did this man Raven act so toward me? Why
did you look at him so?" I asked him.

	"You need not worry about that." he said, his voice cold. I walked back to the
guests in silence, sensing that this was a very touchy subject for him. We
walked to the main hall and separated, Alexander returning to the card room and
me going into the dining room, where the guests were already eating dinner. A
servant brought me food and wine and I began to relax as I ate and talked with
the other women and received compliments that caused me to blush from the men.

	A few hours later, I went to my rooms and went to bed, the effects of the wine
causing the room to spin slightly. I called for Angelique and she came, helped
me undress, and then she left as I crawled between the covers, falling asleep
almost before my head touched the pillow. I was aware of a presence, but thought
it only to be Alexander and drifted off to sleep. I was quickly jarred awake a
moment later. I saw the man Raven above me. I gasped. "Be careful who you trust,
young one." he said and then he disappeared, as if it had been a vision and he
had not been there at all.

	The next few days went by quickly. There were not anymore surprise visits from
Alexander's immortal friends and Raven did not appear. I said nothing of this to
Alexander, lest his anger be inflicted upon this mysterious vampire. I began to
fit in well with the ladies I had met, learning much about society's ways. My
days were spent going from house to house to play cards or have tea, and I spent
the nights with Alexander, listening to him go on about the existence I was
about to enter. When I mentioned their powers, he brushed it off and told me
that I would learn what was needed when the time came. I decided that the reason
he withheld this information from me was so that I would enjoy my mortal life to
its fullest while the time remained, instead of wishing the days to quickly pass
for coveting the more seductive life. Alexander's last guest left on the fourth
night and I went to my room and saw Alexander waiting for me there, an
unexpected thing.

	"Christine, do you realize what the morrow is?" he asked me softly.

	"How could I possibly forget, mon cher? It is to be the night when you bring me
into your world and I can be by your side for eternity." I told him, standing
slightly on tiptoe to place a kiss on his lips.

	"You have not changed your mind?" he asked me yet another time, and I was
beginning to become accustomed to hearing it.

	"How many times must I answer this question for you, my dear and beloved
Alexander? I will never leave you or change my mind about this. I will never
leave your side unless you will it to be so." I said in answer.

He hugged me tightly, as if he feared I would not be the same if he should let
go, which might have been closer to the truth than I ever would have been able
to guess. He backed away and kissed me before saying, "Sleep, mon cher, and
dream of your ball." He touched my face with one delicate finger and then left.
I readied myself for bed, anticipating and fearing the night to come. I drifted
off to sleep, dreaming of how it would all look and how grand it would be at the
Montgeoffry's Ball.

	The sun had barely set when I awoke the following night. I could see the last
rays of daylight fading from the sky as I pushed the curtains back to look
outside. I called Angelique, barely able to contain my excitement. She came and
prepared my bath and then went off to do some other chore while I bathed. When I
had climbed from the water and wrapped myself in the black silken robe Alexander
had given me, she returned, carrying my ballgown. It was just as I had always
dreamed it would look. It was trimmed in pearls and pale blue with white
ribbons. I sighed in delight at the sight of it. Angelique came and began to
work on my hair. When she was done I saw that it had been powdered white, with
blue feathers the color of the dress and a dusting of diamonds, which would have
looked like stars in the night sky if my hair had been without the powder styled
in it.

	She powdered my face lightly and rouged my cheeks and lips, using leaden combs
to darken my eyebrows and lashes even more. She then placed a small patch by my
left eye. I smiled at myself in the looking glass, satisfied that I would be
suitable to be seen on Alexander's arm this night. She brought a diamond
necklace to me, telling me simply that it was compliments of the master. I
sighed at its beauty and wondered how many pieces of gold each small stone must
have been worth as she fastened around my throat. She placed matching earrings
on my ears and proceeded to lace me up in the stays and petticoats that I was
just beginning to grow accustomed to wearing.

	With this completed she carefully pulled the dress over my powdered hair and
face, buttoning and lacing it up in the back. It was a beautiful dress, the most
beautiful thing I had ever worn, surpassing even the dresses I had worn up until
this point. When I was completely dressed and had admired myself--vainly, I am
ashamed to say--in the looking glass, I went out into the hall to find Alexander
there, dressed in a beautiful suit, complete with its brocade coat that matched
my dress admirably, his hair pulled back the same as it had always been. "Ah,
you are such a beautiful creature standing before me." he said.

	"And you are my dark angel." I told him daringly, for it was what I believed,
as he took my arm and we started downstairs.

	All I could think about in the carriage on the way to my first ball was what I
would say, how I thought to be accepted by nobility that I had not met before,
the smiles I would seek from Alexander as we danced.

	The first ball was all that I could have ever hoped it to be. Alexander's
friends were there, but I was calm in their presence this time, bringing smiles
from the men and laughter from the women. The one named Raven was the only one
who was distant and silent. I refused to let his appearance unnerve me, and
simply chose to ignore him for the time being. He stared in my direction at one
point while I was dancing with one of Monsieur Montgeoffrey's sons (not the one
that Mme. Larouse had been speaking of) and I heard his words echo in my mind
saying, Be careful who you trust, young one. I turned my eyes away quickly.

	I was not with Alexander as much as I had hoped to be during the ball, for my
dance card was quickly filled and I spent the hours smiling charmingly at the
men with whom I danced and going back to Alexander and holding his arm tightly
if any one particular gentleman began to make me feel uneasy. One gentleman was
not so easily put off and sauntered over. All it took was one pointed look from
Alexander and the man quickly bowed and stalked off.
By the end of the last dance, the room was spinning from the champagne I had
consumed, and I was filled with a happiness I could barely contain.
I had literally forgotten about what was to come until Alexander and I were in
the carriage and headed back to McClear House. My heart began to beat quickly.
Alexander grasped my hand and smiled reassuringly.

	When we arrived home, I went into my rooms to undress and put on one of my
thick nightgowns. Angelique took my hair down and removed the patch from by my

	Alexander came to my door while I was brushing my hair and bid Angelique to
leave without harshness, but charm. She blushed and hurried away. He still wore
his suit of fine clothes, but the coat was nowhere to be seen. He came to me and
I moved to the bed, where we both sat down. He smiled into my eyes, telling me
not to fear, kissing me softly as he took me in his arms. He ran his fingers
through my hair and kissed me again. His kisses moved from my lips to my cheeks
and then lower, to the tender flesh of my throat. He lifted up and I saw the
transformation that I had only seen once before. His eyes positively glowed and
the sight of his fangs put fear in my heart. He looked at me directly. "You are
frightened." His voice was almost completely changed.

	"It does not matter. Fear always exists, it is part of human nature. Now, si'l
vous plait, do not prolong this unsavory emotion." I told him.

	His eyes glowed brighter and he asked me, "Do you want this still?" His voice
had an almost evil and predator-like sound to it. I breathed deeply. 	"I am
beginning to believe there is something to this you are not telling me, but as I
have always replied, oui." He resumed kissing my neck, and I put my arms around
him, holding him lest my fear cause me to run from him. I felt his fangs brush
against my neck. "Mon Dieu." I whispered as I felt his teeth break through my
flesh. Then, came the sensation of the blood leaving my body. It was
extraordinary. I felt him, knew him, his ambitions, his love. I felt his pain,
felt his joy, knew the delight he felt as he tasted my blood, as he slowly
pulled it from my veins, the slight guilt that he felt as he increased the
intensity at which he drew the blood from me.

	I began to grow weak, and I felt my heart slowing steadily. I knew death was
close and I feared that he was going to kill me. Just when I thought my heart
could beat no more, that the struggle to breathe had become overwhelming, he
moved away, the slowness in which he withdrew his fangs painful.

	I watched him through dimmed vision, seeing my blood upon his lips, my heart
striving to pump the little that remained in my body. Alexander brought his
wrist to his mouth and slashed it open as I watched in horror. My eyes saw the
crimson flow of blood come from the wound. He brought his torn wrist to my lips
and told me to drink. I looked up at him in fear, yet trusting him and let the
blood flow over my tongue and down my throat. I swallowed and then began to
drink greedily, the blood filling my mind with memories from centuries past. I
could not stop pulling the blood from his arteries as he had drank from mine. I
felt strength returning to my limbs as I drank his blood, a thing I would have
been appalled at had it been offered a month ago.

	Alexander gently pulled his wrist away from my lips, the wound healing before
my eyes. I groaned. "More, Alexander. It is not enough." I whispered, feeling a
hunger of a sort I had never encountered rising within me, almost controlling my

	"Hush, mon cher amour. Be still." he told me, forcing me to cease my attempts
at trying to rise from where we had fallen back on the bed. I asked him why I
should be still but before he could answer, the pain that rocketed through my
body told me. I felt my heart cease to beat and I felt coldness clutch it, an
icy grip that made me think that Alexander had killed me. I cried out, and
Alexander covered my mouth with his fingers, placing a kiss on my cheek, telling
me that it would pass, that every vampire had went through this to be in the
life they now possessed. Tears of blood ran down my cheeks as the pain grew and
reached a climax that I did not believe I could bear. "What is happening to me?"
I asked through clenched teeth, the screams I wanted to release bottled inside
of me.

	"You are dying, amour, and in this death yet shall you live." was his answer.

	The pain increased even more and I screamed in agony, forcing Alexander to
roughly clamp a hand over my mouth, lest the servants hear. I begged him to take
the pain away. "I cannot do that, but I will share it." he told me. He bent over
my neck, one hand still over my mouth and bit again, taking back from me some of
what he had given. Our souls were as one, and his back arched as he felt the
pain as I did. After many moments had passed, he drew away and held me as I
cried, the pain finally beginning to subside.

A few minutes after the pain passed, I sat up weakly, trying to slow my labored
breathing. Alexander released me. I stared at my hands, at the long and pointed
fingernails that had grown. I wiped the tears from my cheeks and were astonished
to see that they were blood. I saw how pale my skin had become and I looked in
the mirror to see that I had deadly fangs that drew blood when I touched one of
them in wonder. My eyes glowed as Alexander's had and the room was filled with
color that was more brilliant than any I had ever viewed before. I could see
into the shadows the candles failed to lighten. I could hear the servants
snoring in their quarters down the hall, hear the whispers of their dreams. I
could sense everything around me and could see it with my eyes closed.

	The unique and unquenchable thirst raged within me and I found it almost
unbearable. I turned to ask Alexander if I could feed and a wave of dizziness
came over me and I fell forward, into his arms. The last thing that I remember
of that night was the look of fearful alarm on Alexander's face before I entered
into the darkness of unconsciousness.

			*			*			*
	I heard voices whispering as I drifted out of the deep sleep I had entered
shortly after Alexander had given me The Power. I heard Alexander ask someone
who was in the room with him, "What is wrong with her? Why did she faint as she
did? This was not supposed to happen." His voice was soft and frantic. I tried
to move but found the effort to be too much for me.

The person with Alexander answered him, "Be calm, Alexander. I have seen it
before, I myself experienced it. Your young companion will awaken and she will
more powerful than any other fledgling. One day she will be stronger than even
you, mon cher." The voice was distinctly feminine and it spoke with a calm

	A few moments later, I tried to move again. My eyes fluttered open. They still
had not taken notice of me. I saw that the woman who had spoken was Juliet,
companion of Stephen MacLeod that I had met the night the guests arrived. I
tried to speak and managed a feeble whisper. "Alexander." I softly said.

	He came to my side at once. "Are you alright, mon cher?" he asked me.

	"Oui, mon amour." I answered, my voice a trifle stronger.

	"You gave me quite a fright, do you know that?" he asked me.

	"I truly am sorry." I told him. I paused and then said haltingly, "I thirst,

	"I will go and bring a victim to you." he said, getting up.

	"Leave now, and hunt for yourself. You have not gone out this night and their
are precious few moments of the night left. I will care for your companion."
Juliet said to Alexander. He opened his mouth to protest but Juliet cut him off.
"Adieu, ami." she said pointedly, and with one more glance in my direction, he

	"He can be so difficult sometimes." Juliet told me, rolling her eyes.

	"Never with me." I replied.

	"At least not at the moment." she commented. Before I could ask her what she
meant by this statement, she had slashed her wrist and placed it to my lips.

	"But . . . "

	She put a finger to my lips. "Hush and take what you need. The strength of two
vampires is better than one. Now, please do as I ask. Drink." I gazed at her
uncertainly for another moment but then the scent of her blood reached me and I
drank greedily, feeling the same sensation I had when Alexander had given to me
from himself, but this time there would be no pain. I drank until Juliet firmly
took her arm away. I lay back, feeling the hunger subside slightly and strength
begin to fill my being.

	"You are weary. Rest now." she told me, smoothing a lock of hair from my
forehead as she smiled down on me.

	"I cannot. I must wait for Alexander." I told her.

	She laughed softly. "Do not worry for your beloved. Sleep." She put her fingers
over my eyes, pressing lightly on the eyelids. "Sleep." I heard her say once
more and I drifted off into dreams.

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