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From Light Into Darkness
Chapter 5
By: DarkenAngel

	"Do not be frightened of me, dear Christine, I mean you no harm....." he
whispered in my ear, his curling black hair brushing against my cheek as he lay
me back down.

	"Raven, what am I doing here?" I asked him. I recalled his statement of being
careful who I trusted. I realized now what he had meant by this repeated
statement. He had meant to be careful of April and Vincent, for he must have had
some inkling that they would betray their own. "Merci." I told him. I paused for
a moment and then realized that he most likely had no idea what I had just
thanked him for.

	I made to explain but he spoke, "You needed to know that they were going to
betray you so that you would not be drawn to the other side with them or that
you would not be killed by one or the other. But, as I saw, you seem to be quite
able to handle yourself in a situation like that. Some vampires do not survive
their first fight, but I think I have underestimated your fledgling strength."

	I was astonished. This was the most I had ever heard this man speak. 	"It was
quite unexpected, but Vincent was going to kill Juliet if I did not intervene in
some way. I would have died for her."

	"That would have been such a waste." He commented as he sat beside me on the
small bed I had been placed in.

	"Why did you bring me here?" I asked him.

	"Your dear Alexander cherishes you very much, Christine. I brought you here
after the fight, and Juliet knows that I have taken you. We have seen Alexander
when a fledgling of his has fought with another of our own kind. He would have
been put into a rage that one of 'his own' had turned on him, but he would have
been dangerous if he had known that they had harmed you as well. He will know
eventually, but for the time being let him calm down about the first
occurrence." Raven explained.

	"I should go to him. He may be worried." I told him, struggling to sit up.
Raven put his arms around my shoulders and pushed me back down. I let him, for
when I had risen, a sharp pain had shot through my back.

	"You have yet to completely heal. Rest for a while and let your body finish
repairing itself. You are very lucky. He could have killed you." he told me,
drawing the covers to my chin.

	"He underestimated me as well." I said. Raven's face was above mine. He smiled.
I was surprised at this man. He had frightened me and seemed so emotionally
cold, yet now he seemed friendly and open. He was truly a mystery.

	"Allow me to make you sleep." I gave my mind over to him. He ran a hand over my
eyes and said, "Rest." I fell into sleep immediately.

	When I awoke later that night, Raven was no longer there. I looked, and in the
chair where he had been sitting when I first awakened, lay a gown and a cloak. I
changed from my soiled garments and put on the clothes that had been left. My
hair had come loose and hung down my back. I ran my fingers through it and then
went into the hall outside the room where I had slept. I walked until I managed
to find a door that led outside. I entered the shadows and took to the air,
hurrying to the house that had become my home. I entered quickly and summoned
Alexander mentally. He came at once though he did not seem worried nor did he
display any of the other emotions that I had expected. He greeted me warmly and
asked me, " Did you enjoy your trip?"

	I quickly veiled my mind to him and answered, " Yes, I enjoyed myself very
much, merci."

	" Juliet told me that you had been introduced to some of the nobility and had
been invited to stay at the house of a Countess, am I correct?" he told me.

	" Yes, I enjoyed myself, but I thirst, for I have been unable to hunt. I will
return soon, love." I told him, feeling the hunger rise within me as it had
endlessly for the past months. It was not quite as sharp as it had been those
first few nights, but it was still far from being gone. I left to hunt and
killed three that night, reeling in ecstasy as their blood filled my being,
enjoying the pleasure of feeling each one die in my arms. I returned before dawn
satiated, feeling strength throughout my body.

	I spent the day with Alexander and experienced something I had never before
known existed. Alexander showed me the extent of a vampire's love. In the midst
of the pleasure mortals share we drank from one another, and it was truly
something that I cannot express. It was the feeling of our blood combined, mine
coming from the wound he had made in my neck, as I drank from him at the same
time. During this embrace I realized his true age. He had been immortal for 2000
years. That seemed like an eternity to me, but I knew that there was more time
than that in the world left for me and I planned to live for all of it.

	When we finally parted from one another and slept, I dreamed only of him, even
as I felt his blood coursing through my veins. He loves me, I thought, and I
love him as well. I, Christine Devereaux, has been chosen by someone who is
powerful, intriguing, and beautiful. I smiled to myself. This was the best event
that had ever occurred in my life, and it even surpassed the dreams I had when I
was still mortal. Strange, how prayers were answered. Only then, I hadn't known
that it had not been God answering my prayers. I had not known then that my dear
Alexander was not the angel I thought him to be.

	When I awoke with sunset the next night, I was in no hurry to rise and hunt for
Alexander's blood had sustained me. I looked over at him, and what I saw held me
spellbound. He was sleeping, seeming hardly to breathe. His hair had come loose
from its satin ribbon and lay framing his face in a tangled mane. His skin was
alabaster, a mortal would marvel at its color. His perfectly-formed lips were
curved in a soft smile, as though he were in the middle of a glorious dream. I
hoped with all my soul that he dreamed of me, and then blushed at the
selfishness of the thought.

	I reached out to softly touch his hair. It slipped through my fingers like
silk, it was that soft. Alexander's valet had lit candles in the room and I
thought of how thoughtful the man really was, to be so devoted to his master. My
mind returned to Alexander as his eyes fluttered open. He smiled as he saw me
gazing upon him and rose on one elbow, gesturing for me to come closer. He
kissed me and I could still taste my blood upon his lips.

	"Did you sleep well, my darling?" he asked me.

	"I slept wonderfully, mon amour, et vous?" I answered.

	"I moved from vision to vision of you, each one more enthralling and
breathtaking than the one before. You are truly an exquisite creature." he
answered, tracing the contours of my face with one pale finger as he spoke.

	"You are far more exquisite than I, mon cher Count McClear. Your beauty gives
you an unearthly quality, as if you accidentally fell from Heaven while learning
to fly with your angel wings." I told him.

	His soft laugh followed my statement. The sound was like music, the most
beautiful and sensual sound my ears had ever heard. "How modest you are, love. I
have seen how my compatriots look at you. Why, you even extracted a response
from Raven that first night. That in itself was an astonishing achievement." he

	"What happened that night between you and Raven, Alexander?" I asked him
suddenly, remembering the look he had given the other night.
He sighed and gazed at me through eyes that shone in the dim light. "Raven and I
had some problems in the past. Shall I describe it to you in detail?"
	"Oui, mon amour. I need to know." was my reply.

	"Very well, I shall tell you, it is right that you should know anyway.....A
very long time ago, Raven and I were close friends. During that time, I became
infatuated with a mortal named Diana. She was very young, and very wealthy. I
had been introduced to her at the time she had come of age to court. I told
Raven of her...

	"Raven was very reckless in that time, and young. He had a strange quality
about him, he did things for reasons only he knew. I introduced him to Diana and
he found her to his liking. I told him that she was mine and not to take her.
Mind you, Christine, this was not nearly the same as the love I feel for you. It
was more the love of her physically. Yes, she was pleasing to the eye, all
golden and ivory, but I do not speak of that. It was her blood I wanted. The
aroma of it when I was around her was almost too much to bear. I needed her
blood, craved the taste of one so young, so untouched by the worries and
troubles of the world, having been so sheltered in her wealthy life. Vampires
thrive on the feeling of innocence, for we have been around so many centuries
and touched by grief so many times that we envy the young in some ways. The only
way we can share their innocence is to take them into ourselves, possess them.

	"Well, to come back to my story. Raven met her and spent much time with her. I
did not worry about the time they spent together, for he had understood my
warning and told me not to be concerned. I believed him and time passed, and
infatuation turned to love. I was considering bringing her over to the darkness
to be with me when one night.....he killed her.

	"When I discovered what he had done, I was outraged. I confronted him that very
night, with every intention of killing him before the sun rose. He remained calm
during my fit of rage and began to speak, and I calmed somewhat in order to hear
his soft words. He told me that Diana had discovered my true nature and had
plotted to kill me. He told me she had planned to lure me into her
chambers.....into her bed.....only to drive a wooden stake through my heart. He
had taken her at that moment, in order to stop her deadly plan before it was put
into action.

	"Needless to say, I did not believe him. I demanded of him proof. He calmly
instructed me to come with him. He led me to her home, and we entered into her
room by way of the window. Raven walked over to her dainty dresser, and opened
one of the golden-handled drawers. He carefully took out a stake.....well~formed
and tipped with a deadly point. My resolution was broken then. The gaze with
which Raven looked at me was filled with sorrow, and blood tears filled his eyes
as he saw the heart-broken expressions cross my face. I had whispered at that
point for him to allow me to leave alone. He nodded and I fled.

	"He spoke the honest truth of her, her journal removed all doubts when I
returned to her home for it two nights later. She had written of my peculiar
nature, of how strange it was that I only came to her at night, and how I always
declined to dine with her and her family. Her plans were there, written in
beautiful script across the thin pages.

	"From that time on, Raven and I have become distant. We speak little to each
other. I have held a slight resentment of him since the time he took Diana, even
though I know 'twas done in my best interests. When you went to him the way you
did, as a moth is drawn to the flame, it reminded me of Diana, and past emotions
arose within me. My reaction was merely that of pain and memory. It was foolish
of me....."

	"Oh, Alexander . . . .forgive me. I would not have asked had I known it would
be so painful for you....." I whispered.

	"Nonsense, my love. You should have known earlier, but I could not bring myself
to tell you, could not let you know that I had loved another before you." he
said, drawing me into his arms.

	"It is quite normal that you would have loved another before me. I was not even
born when you met this Diana. I understand, and I am not angered." I replied,
looking into his eyes.

	"There is also something else that I need to inform you of. I hold a high
position of leadership in this group of vampires. Raven was made to defy me, he
was brought over by my enemies to mock me, and was brought across in a way that
I do not allow amongst my own. I killed them for their insolence, and this left
the fledgling Raven with no master to teach him our ways. I would have killed
him as well, but when I gazed into his eyes I saw more there than I had ever
seen in a mortal. This intrigued me, and I allowed him to join me instead of
letting the others have him. The rest of my order know of his creation, and so
are not as friendly with him as they are with each other. It is in their nature,
and not all of them forgive easily. They still do not see Raven as one of us,
but as an outcast that is a symbol of mockery to them. When he destroyed Diana,
it broke some sort of fragile bond that had existed between he and I and now. .
. he is as you know him now." he told me, stroking my hair.

	I sat up and Alexander released me. "Poor Raven....." I said.

	"Yes, his situation is one to be sympathized with, but you can see why I can do
nothing for him, and you can also see why I do not wish to speak with him any
longer. I would see Diana reflected in his eyes, and that I would not be able to
bear." Alexander said, sitting up as well.

	"Perhaps . . .one day you would allow me to visit Raven?" I asked him
cautiously, careful of the delicate ground I tread upon.

	He gazed at me thoughtfully for a moment. "Yes, Christine, you may visit him if
you wish. He needs an ally in our order. Perhaps you can draw him out and
befriend him. I wish you the best of luck with him." he told me.

	"Merci, mon amour." I answered delightedly and leaned forward to kiss him. He
met me and kissed my lips gently, lovingly. He stood up and gazed down upon me.

	"Let us hunt, mon cher." he told me and reached for my hand.

	"After you change and I dress." I answered, staring at the blood stain on the
collar of his unbuttoned white shirt from our love-making.

	"Oh, yes, of course." he said and we parted. I slipped on one of his robes and
went to my rooms to get ready. Angelique was there, wearing the dress I had
requested from Alexander that first night. The girl was truly beautiful and I
was glad he had chosen her to be my maid.

	After I was dressed, I opened my door to find Alexander leaning against the
wall across from me. Arm in arm we headed outside into the night. Alexander
killed first, choosing his victim quickly and killing her just as fast. I took
more time to choose. I settled on a beautiful young man, whose auburn hair lay
against my face as I embraced him and drank slowly, savoring the kill. I was
uneasy, for though I loved Alexander deeply, I loathed the feel of vampire eyes
watching me as I partook of Death, especially since I enjoyed it so. We disposed
of the bodies quickly and efficiently and spent the rest of the night
together.....and the day.

	Time passed quickly now. My sixteenth birthday came and went, and Alexander
surprised me by presenting me with a necklace of rubies on that special date,
February third. I was even more surprised when Juliet and Stephen presented me
with gifts, so expensive that they made me gasp. When I did, they simply laughed
and told me that I should grow accustomed to this wealth and start building a
fortune of my own. I told them I had no idea where to begin and Juliet told me
with a laugh that I would learn soon enough.

	The months after that were spent enjoying my existence, killing early every
other night and then returning home and locking myself in Alexander's library,
where I devoured the ancient manuscripts and books at a speed three times that
of any mortal. I would come to Alexander during the daylight hours and talk of
philosophy or politics, or argue the theories the scientists had voiced to the

	The next significant event was when I went to talk with Raven. I woke at sunset
on the night of May 20, 1728 and rang for Angelique. She helped me dress and I
gazed in a full~length looking glass at my reflection. The crimson dress fit
tightly from shoulders to waist and then flared out in wide folds. My hair was
pulled back fashionably and lead combs had been used to darken my lashes. Rouge
colored my lips and cheeks, making me appear almost human. I smiled at myself
and turned, satisfied with my appearance. I picked the cloak that Raven had left
for me the night of the fight from my wardrobe and fastened its golden clasp
around my neck, pulling the hood over my head. After one last glance in the
looking glass, I bid farewell to Angelique and walked out into the hall.

	As I descended the main stairway, I came face to face with Alexander. His hair
was still disheveled from sleep and my eyes lingered on his pale throat where
his shirt was unbuttoned. "Where do you head so early, my love?" he asked me.

	I touched his cheek and said, "Raven's home, mon cher."

	"Ah, yes. I was wondering when you would choose to visit him. Be careful,
beloved, and call to me if there is trouble. I shall hear you and come to your
side immediately." he said and kissed me.

	"Until later, amour." I told him and trailed a hand through his tangled hair
before moving past him. I heard his footsteps as he continued up the stairs. I
stepped out into the night. I took to flight quickly in order to reach Raven's
home across the city all the more quickly. I landed on the front steps of his
manor so quickly that it would have seemed to a mortal that I had merely
appeared there. I walked up the stairs, raised the golden knocker of the door
and let it fall. The door was opened almost immediately by the butler and with a
nod to him, I entered into the main hallway.

	I called out to Raven with my mind, and just as the butler asked if I would
like for him to fetch Monsieur Raven, he came from one of the hallways adjacent
to the one in which I stood. "Bon soir, Lady Christine. It is truly a pleasant
surprise to see you here." he told me, taking my hand and bowing over it. His
voice was almost a whisper, and colored with a faint accent that was so slight I
could not decide from which land it originated.

	"It is nice to see thee as well, Raven." I replied.

	"Come." he said and indicated that I should precede him. He led me into a
sitting room and shut the door behind us. He stood behind me and undid the clasp
of my cloak and removed it, folding it. He paused for a moment and gazed at it,
recognition in his eyes, before he laid it on the back of a settee and motioned
for me to sit.

	"I would like to thank you for caring for me the night I was injured." I told

	"I would have died for you that night, dear Christine. You are a beautiful and
astonishing creature. I could no more have allowed you to die than I could have
looked directly at the rising sun without feeling pain. You are a blessing to
our kind. You have the combination of physical beauty few possess and beauty of
the soul. Such a combination is something to marvel at .....you are the most
beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes upon." he told me, his eyes betraying
the calm composure of his face.

	I looked down and blushed. "You flatter me, Monsieur Raven ....." I whispered.

	"It is not flattery, Lady Christine. It is merely the truth. You must not be
modest any longer. You are now a vampire, and you must use the beauty you
possess to bewitch men in order to gain what you wish. You will want to
establish a sizable sum of money for yourself, lest anything ever happen to your
precious Alexander. You will wish to gain admirers, for they will give you
expensive and elaborate gifts in order to woo you into becoming their mistress,
which, by the way, you must not do. You are not the same any longer. You could
not make love to a mortal man without destroying him, or bringing him into our
existence." Raven told me with a knowledge that I had not guessed he would
possess about such things. I thought of what he had said, though I could not
imagine loving a mortal man when I had Alexander.

	"You know so much." I said softly.

	He laughed, seeming genuinely amused, an emotion I had not seen very often in
vampires that were past their first century. In fact, I had not met a vampire
even close to my age.

	"Mon Cher Madame Christine, I have this knowledge because all of us have used
it to survive. Even your Alexander has used these methods, for he would not have
acquired his wealth without them. As you will see, very few vampires are without
money, and you will hardly ever meet a vampire who is not of the aristocracy.
There are a few of our kind who do not care for comfort or wealth, but those
most likely have never experienced luxury, or had the wish to. These vampires
are simply content with what they have and search for nothing more. This is
their choice and we do not dispute it." he told me. I listened wide~eyed, and he
gave me an amused smile when he saw my expression.

	"You are intriguing, Raven." I could not help but tell him.

	He came and sat by me on the settee and took both of my hands in his own. "Dear
Christine, you are a true blessing to our kind. Use and enhance your gifts to
the best of your ability. Seek to increase your strength so that you may
persevere throughout time. I shall always watch over you." He gazed at me

	"Alexander can protect me ....." I trailed off.

	His eyes darkened for a moment, then he said, so softly that I had to strain to
hear his words, "He may not always be there. Time has its effect on all, whether
we are mortal or vampire." Then he rose, releasing my hands. He smiled at me.
"Forgive me, Lady Christine, I have some matters that I must attend to before
the sun rises. It has been a great pleasure speaking with you. I trust you shall
return again?"

	"Yes, of course, Raven. I shall return again. It has been an enchanting visit."
I replied, standing as well, still confused by his words. He brought the cloak
around my shoulders and then offered me his arm. He led me out into the main

	"Au revoir, mon ami." I told him.

	"Adieu, mon cher Christine." he said, bowing before me. Then he turned and was
gone, leaving me in the hallway. The butler held the door open for me and I
whispered a farewell to the man before stepping outside. I walked now, instead
of taking to flight. I walked down the darkened streets alone, pondering Raven's
words of Alexander in my heart .....

Next Chapter

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