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From Light Into Darkness
Chapter 7
By: DarkenAngel

	The next few weeks passed by quickly. Preparations to move to the estate were
completed. My first view at the exterior of that magnificent place took my
breath away, when I entered through the doors I thought that surely it was one
of the mansions of Heaven, for the gold, crystal, and marble that I saw around
me was truly the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. Alexander had enjoyed my
expression of awe and amazement with the utmost amusement, leaning against the
shining banister of the main stairway to laugh silently, almost to the point to
where blood tears came into his eyes.

I was, with Juliet's help, planning a grand ball to celebrate our relocation. It
was not a difficult task to do so, despite the fact that it was being planned in
only a matter of weeks. Juliet was quite experienced in that area, and was
giving the servants quite a time, keeping them always busy with this or that
preparation. In the meantime, the ballroom was off-limits to me, Alexander had
forbidden me from entering with a mischievous smile, vaguely mentioning some
sort of surprise. My curiosity was to its utmost, but I knew better than to go
against his wishes, so heeded his words.

	I also began taking lessons of the piano. I had discovered that I could
remember melodies and play them after only hearing them once. When I had made
this discovery, I had run to Alexander, telling him in amazement of what I had
done. He had laughed at me softly, telling me that I would easily be able to
play pieces and remember them, that I could learn and read at a rate beyond
human comprehension. Immediately after, he hired an instructor to teach me once
a week.

	I take up my story one week before the ball was to take place. I rose as soon
as the sun set. I stretched, a human habit that had never left me all together.
I looked around in the darkness that was as bright as daylight to me. I saw the
red velvet drapes that covered a set of French doors that led to an outside
balcony whose rails were covered with ivy.

	The rooms I had chosen were beautiful indeed, more wondrous than my rooms in
McClear House. These rooms were the colors of blood-red, ivory, and gold. The
ceiling above my bed was made of mirrors, and many a night I had lain on the bed
and stared at my reflection, seeing the slow changes that were being made in my
physical appearance. My eyes grew brighter and brighter, and it took physical
will to dull them to a normal shade of blue. I steadily lost color until I was a
pale as the ivory floors I walked upon.

	My powers were growing stronger by the day, and I could now easily control the
will of mortals, control their thoughts, their actions. I could cause them to
love me, or to hate me. I could make them remember, or make them forget easily.
I could easily hear the thoughts of others, mortals and vampires alike, if I
tried, and indeed sometimes they intruded in on my mind whether I allowed it or

	Angelique came into the room and I stood from where I had been still sitting on
the bed, repressing the urge for one last glimpse at the creature reflected in
the mirrors above. I dressed and Angelique styled my hair. I tried to start a
conversation with the girl, quite unsuccessfully. She had begun growing distant
from me, silent, subdued. I did not press her to speak. It had become wearisome
in the last few days to be nice with the girl, especially since it did not seem
as though she wished it any longer.

	When my makeup was complete, I bid the girl to leave, and went into my sitting
room to sit at the writing table. I began writing invitations to my fellow
vampires, friends of Alexander's as well as mine. I printed the messages to
Juliet and Stephen, Andrew and Christy De Ponchu--a couple I had not yet been
introduced to--and Raven. We had continued our weekly visits, and I was
constantly learning more and more about this mysterious friend I had made.

	When I had completed those and had sealed them with my very own seal, an M and
a D intertwined with each other, the letters standing for the unity of McClear
and Devereaux, of Alexander and me (his design), I took one of the specially
gold-bordered pieces of paper and began writing very carefully an invitation to
David and Felicia Devereaux, inviting them to the ball. These invitations would
be sent with a few boxes of necessities for the ball to both my parents.

	There would be two dresses for my mother, one for the ball, and a simple one
for her Sabbath church meetings. There would be a note inside with the dresses,
instructing her to wear the more elaborate dress of red satin and white
Victorian lace to the ball, and wear the more simple one for other occasions. In
the other box would be a suit with an elaborate coat and white wig for my

	In yet another package there would be perfumes, powder for my mother and
father's hair, and the dust that when added to water gave it the scent of roses.
There would also be a beautiful diamond necklace for my mother and diamond
teardrop earrings for her ears. I had yet to purchase these things, but I would
do so soon, for I would need to have them sent to my parents withing the next
couple of days so that they could make plans to come.

	In their invitation, I told them that my carriage would come for them the
Friday afternoon of the ball. I was taking a chance, for I knew how stubborn my
father was about accepting charity, and I was positive that he had probably
disowned me for my leaving with Alexander without his blessing. I was hoping
that he would have missed me and would attend, if only to lecture and berate,
for I truly wished for my mother to experience the wealth that she had never
had. This would be the first contact I made with my parents since I had left
that night with Alexander.

	I signed my name in the most elaborate script I knew, and sealed the invitation
with red wax. I sent a servant of in search of a messenger, and when one came, I
gave him the invitation and a small bag of gold coins, instructing him not to
stop until the letter was delivered. I gave him the instructions on how to reach
the small shack and after he bowed to me, he left to carry out my wishes.

	Alexander came in and I told him of the purchases that I needed to make. He
agreed and we left for Paris at once. We walked to a darkened store and
Alexander knocked loudly on the door. A few minutes later it was opened by a
woman in her dressing gown, who had obviously been awakened from a sound sleep.
Her scowl turned to a polite smile when she recognized Alexander. I remembered
this woman, she had been the one who had made my ball-gown for the last ball,
and the upcoming one as well.

	She lit many candles and I looked around at the dresses she had on display. I
found a red one with white lace, not Victorian lace, but I could not be too
choosy on this short of notice. I purchased it and another of dark blue that was
less elaborate, but still quite beautiful. Alexander left to purchase the suit
for my father, and he returned with one of deep red, which would go admirably
next to my mother's gown. He had also purchased the stockings and wig for my
father. I thanked him for his time and praised him on his excellent choices.

	We left and returned to the estate; by flight since we would not have been able
to beat the rising sun otherwise. The packages would be delivered to the estate
the next day. I collapsed on my bed as soon as we returned. I was weary. I had
no idea planning a social event would take so much out of a person, vampire or
not. I dozed, fully dressed, and I felt Alexander come in and lay beside me. He
wrapped his arms around me and then I remembered nothing else as sleep took me.

	When I awoke, I looked up at the mirrors. The reflection was remarkable, for I
saw how similar Alexander and I looked. He awoke a few moments later and we both
stared up in silence. Our eyes were the same brilliant color of blue, and our
skin was the same shade of deathly white. He smiled at my reflection and placed
a kiss on my cheek and commented before rising, "Your purchases are here."

	I rose quickly and Alexander left. I dressed in a fresh garment and went out to
hunt. I killed that night, being weary of taking only the needed amount of
blood. I killed a young man who was disfigured, most likely since birth. His
face was . . . strange, and his eyes had a glint that suggested a touch of
madness. He wished for death and I gladly gave it to him, enjoying it with a
shame that had come from my mortal years of believing in not harming another
living creature.

	After I properly disposed of the body and returned to the estate and gathered a
few things I needed to add to my gifts to my parents. I picked up a glass jar of
rose scented bath dust from Angelique's quarters where my bath things were kept
and picked up a jar of hair powder and a container of rouge from my vanity table
and added it to the boxes, along with my small note of instructions. I called
for Anthony and he came, and I smiled at the young man, so willing to please me.
I carried on a few minutes of pleasant conversation with him and then sent him
to find someone to deliver the packages to my parents' home.

	There was a knock upon my sitting room door. "Enter." I said. A young man with
dark brown hair and brilliant violet eyes stood in the doorway. " 'Tis time for
your lesson, Lady Devereaux." he said.

	I walked to the man, a smile brightening my face. "Bon soir, Roger." I said and
then embraced him, being careful to hug him lightly and not crush him with my
immortal strength. I had become fond of my teacher, and treated him with the
utmost respect, a respect that amused Alexander to a degree that I had not
thought any one person could get from any one situation.

	I linked arms with Roger and we went downstairs to the music room. I silently
marveled at his purple eyes, which reminded me of the night sky. He was
naturally pale, which only enhanced his beauty. Pity that you are mortal. I
shall hate it terribly to watch this beauty grow old and die. I thought. At that
moment a thought came to mind that I had not dared to think in all of my months
living as a vampire. What if I made him one of us? I wondered to myself.

	I quickly pushed the thought from my mind. Alexander would object, and the
others most likely would as well. I could almost hear Juliet's mocking tone. You
must have a better reason than his beauty, child! Truly he cannot be that
pleasant to the sight that you would want to bring him into this existence!
Forget him, Christine. His beauty would mean nothing if you created a monster. I
merely walked to the piano and sat, playing the music he had assigned me the
week before to learn.

	I had memorized it the night he assigned it, but of course I could not tell him
that. He would begin to ask questions if he discovered that I could learn that
quickly. So, I merely played the song and told him that I had practiced it

	I had, in fact, played the song over and over until Alexander had asked me in
exasperation if I would please play something else. I expressed myself in music,
and had even been contemplating composing a piece myself. I enjoyed the
melancholy and mysterious music best, for it seemed the best befitting of the
night world . . . my world.

	After my lesson that night and hour of causerie with Roger, I retired to my
rooms to read Shakespeare's Macbeth. One particular phrase caught my eye, and I
immediately committed it to memory with a glance. It stated: 'Tomorrow, and
tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last
syllable of recorded time. All our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to
dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more: it is
a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.'

	Interesting little passage that was. It made me wonder if William Shakespeare
had ever known a vampire during the course of his life, wondered if perhaps one
of my kind had influenced him into adding these lines to his play.

	I closed the book when I sensed Alexander's presence growing stronger. A moment
later he came into my bedroom, a secretive smile upon his lips. He held his
hands behind his back.

	I gazed at him coyly, "Pray tell, Qu'est-ce que tu prents?" I asked him.

	He walked over to the bed and sat down beside me. "Close your eyes, dear
angel." I did as he asked. I felt his arms encircle me and I felt the cool touch
of precious metal upon my neck. "Open your eyes now, and gaze upon my gift."

	I gazed into the mirror above me, and gasped. Never had I seen such beauty in
an arrangement of stones as I did in the necklace that had been placed around my
throat. There were tiny sapphires and emeralds arranged to look like tiny
violets. They were arranged in a heart that bordered a solitary diamond in the
center, also shaped in a heart. Emeralds arranged in shapes to resemble vines
made the chain that encircled my neck. All was inlayed with silver, which was
admirably suited to it, far more than gold would have ever been.

	I turned my eyes from my reflection to Alexander, whose secretive smile had
turned to one of pleasure. "Are you pleased?" he asked me.

I embraced him tightly, and kissed him passionately. "You will never know how
you have pleased me, mon amour. Never have I seen a thing so beautiful." I

	"But, indeed you have my love, for your beauty far outshines these stones." he
whispered. I smiled, looking down at the flattery. He placed one long pale
finger under my chin and lifted my face to his. "I want you to wear it Friday. I
designed it and had it ordered specially. There is none other like it in all of
Paris. You will be the envy of every woman there, mortal and vampire alike. I
have invited some guests as well, people you have yet to meet. One couple will
come from Versailles, and one man, a dear friend of mine, will come from
England, along with a woman that I believe you will get along with." Alexander
told me, and then, after a pause, added, "A 'child' shall be attending as well.
I believe you will find her quite remarkable."

	"I can hardly wait. Guests from England! It will truly be a delightful evening.
New acquaintances to make, a place in society to take, admirers to gain . . . "
I said, rambling on in anticipation and excitement.

	"Not too many admirers." he told me, smiling, pulling me into his arms.

	"Of course not, mon cher." I replied and he kissed me, leaning me back on the
bed. He then proceeded to hold me close and whisper to me as daylight
approached, and together we entered the vampire's deadly sleep.
The next few days until my ball flew by quickly. Alexander finally allowed me
into the ballroom, and I saw there the most beautiful mural I had ever seen. It
was a scene of night, with the moon shining upon an open field surrounded by
trees, the stars shining brightly in the sky. There were many dancers frozen in
their graceful movements in the grass, eyes closed as if listening to the music
within themselves. Among these dancers I was able to recognize my own face, as
well as Alexander, Juliet, Stephen, and Raven.

	"It is wonderful!" I had exclaimed, "I must meet the artist!"

	"One day you shall, I promise. I had hoped you would be pleased, it seems I am
not to be disappointed. Now, let us go. There is still much to be done in
preparation." he replied and we left together.

To be Continued.........

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