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Clash! The Story of Four Brothers (Baby Farm Book 2)

By Kayresia A. Bass All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Fantasy

Blurb

Life at the Baby Farm continues… This is the story of four very different young vampiric men and how they deal with everyday life. Their father, Alec Thorn, famous for what he previously did for the coven, sits back, and watches as his four sons grow into their own lives and become individuals. Nikolai Thorn the oldest is an arrogant and selfish son of a bitch with the power of seduction. Because he was the only vampire in his coven that was born and not made, he thinks he's special. And well, he is. Kristopher Thorn loves his family and his woman. He works hard and doesn't get along with his older brother very well, but there is a reason for that. However he has no clue what it is. Lucas Thorn knows why his two older brothers don't get along, but he keeps it to himself. Lucas, not as arrogant as Nikolai, but almost as selfish. The baby of the family, Byron Thorn, has no clue what his brothers are doing, and doesn't care. His only focus is his woman, and will do anything to stay with her.

Chapter One

It is a very hot August night in the English countryside. Twenty-one years have passed since Alec taught his first two sons about their history. Twenty-one years ago, was the year of Byron Thorn’s birth. The coven’s king, Darth Wolfe, and all of the council members were attending his twenty-first birthday party at the Baby Farm. The party was large with several guests in attendance. The potential mates of all four Thorn brothers attended, which would not seem like it would be a problem, but as the night went on, it proved to be one.

Nikolai, the oldest of the Thorn brothers, had his attention on the only person that could turn his head. His girlfriend, the beautiful Angeline Delarosa.

“Nikolai, when are you going to stop messing around and get serious?” Angeline asked.

Nikolai had Angeline pinned to the wall. He looked at her with his sultry blue eyes, kissed her softly on the neck. “I am not sure, Angeline.”

“Nicky, stop toying around and join with me.”

“Do not call me that.”

Angeline pushed him away from her. “You do not seem to mind when you are fucking me,” she said angrily as she walked away from him.

Nikolai called out to her. “Aw, come on Angeline, do not be like that.” Angeline didn’t turn around, and continued walking. As Nikolai stood there watching the woman that he cared for walk away from him. He took a sip of his drink, sighed, and ran his hand through his thick, wavy shoulder length brown hair.


Nikolai Thorn was different from his brothers. In fact, he was unique throughout the coven. He was the only vampire in coven history that was born. This made him special in the eyes of his great-grandfather, Darth, the current king of the coven.

During the school year, whenever he could get away from coven business, Darth spent a lot of his spare time with Nikolai. He had it in his head that Nikolai was going to be his heir and successor, and began grooming him at a very young age.

It was a warm summer day. Nikolai and his brothers were preparing to go back to the farm for the summer. Darth took the opportunity to talk with Nikolai in the garden.

“How did you do in school this year, Nikolai?”

“I did very well, Grandfather. I did especially well in coven history.”

Darth chuckled. “Mistress Kali would have it no other way.”

“She is a hard teacher, but I managed to pass with an A in her class.”

“This is a good thing. I believe that she is going to be that way with your brothers as well.”

“Why?” Nikolai asked.

“Because of whom your father is.”

“His place in history is very important, correct?”

“That is right. He freed us from the tyranny of our former king.”

“Hannibal Cross?”

“Again Nikolai, you are correct. Tell me, how old are you now?”

“I am almost fourteen, Grandfather.”

Darth smiled, and said, “Oh, this is a special time for you. I think that it is time that I started grooming you to be king.”

“Me, Grandfather?”

“Yes. Great kings are not born, they are made.”

“Are you speaking in the term made as in vampire?”

Darth shook his head. “No. It is a good king’s desire to make his people as happy as possible at all times, so they, the people, shape who he is to become.”

“Mistress Kali has told us in class that you used to be a very cruel man.”

“I was. I was very bitter. Hannibal was the one that caused my bitterness.”

“Tell me why.”

“A very long time ago, he desired my oldest daughter, your grandmother, to be his queen. I would not let him have her. When it was time for him to choose a third seat on the panel of elders, he passed me over and chose one that was younger than I. However, because of my age he did put me in the first seat on the council.”

“That should have made you happy, Grandfather. Why did it not?”

“I took it as the punishment that it was meant to be. I then became the meanest man in the coven. As long as I was not abusing my clan, Hannibal left me alone. I remained this way until your father came to me with the chance to regain some honor, and get revenge for what Hannibal did to me.

“Once Hannibal was dead, your father named me king. It was as if a four hundred pound weight had been lifted from my shoulders.”

“So you were not always cruel?”

“No, Nikolai, I was not.”

“Can you tell me how you felt when my grandmother was murdered?”

“Zelda was special to me. I once told Alec that she had it all. Beauty and brains. Her brothers are handsome brutes, and her sisters are beautiful nitwits. Her death almost killed me, but I could not let it be known.”

“Why not?”

“My reputation as the cruelest of us all would not let me show my true feelings publicly, I was upset for a very long time.”

“Grandfather, why do you think that I should be king? I mean, there are many in line ahead of me.”

“You are thinking of your father, correct?”

“Yes, and others on the council as well.”

Darth smiled. “It is my choice who will be king, Nikolai. If I manage to stay alive for another three hundred years, I will personally see to it that you will be named my successor.”

“That is a very long time.”

Darth continued to smile. “You will live to see three hundred years and more. Your brothers and your parents may not. That is the real reason you are my choice.”

“It is because I am all vampire and they have human blood, am I correct?”

“Yes. You are special, young one. Never forget that.”

With those words, Nikolai began to see himself in a different light. Darth had no idea how those words would, from that day forth, shape his grandson’s life and the way he lived it.

“I will not forget, Grandfather.”

At that moment, young Angeline Delarosa made an appearance in the garden. She was with her beautiful gaggle of friends. Because of her beauty, Nikolai was always afraid to talk to her.

After the conversation with his grandfather, Nikolai felt different. He felt a confidence he hadn’t felt before. He watched her, as she seemed to glide across the stone beneath her. Darth was watching Nikolai watch Angeline.

“She is so beautiful, Grandfather,” Nikolai said, keeping his eyes on her.

“When she is older, Angeline is going to cause much trouble in the coven.”

“Why do you say that?” Nikolai asked.

“For the very reason that you cannot stop looking at her. She is blessed with such beauty; men are going to kill for her.”

“No Grandfather, they will not.”

“Why is that?”

“I am going to make her my girlfriend.”

“You are very young, Nikolai. You cannot trouble yourself with such things right now. You have plenty of time to think about love.”

Nikolai looked at Darth. “Who said anything about love? I said I am going to make her my girlfriend.”

Darth chuckled, and said, “All right then. So, are you going to talk to her?”

“Do you think she will let me?”

“If you want to talk to her, go talk to her. Do not get upset if she rejects you the first time. You are the future king of our coven, and kings never back down from anything.”

“Yes, Grandfather. Thank you.”

Nikolai walked toward Angeline and her friends. When they saw him coming, they began whispering and giggling as only young girls can. Nikolai’s heart was beating a mile a minute, but he refused to be afraid of her anymore.

He managed a very confident smile. “Hello, Angeline.”

Angeline smiled back, “Hello, Master Nikolai.”

“I was wondering if I might talk to you in private.”

“Might I ask what about?” She asked, continuing to smile.

Nikolai took a deep breath and said, “You.”

Angeline and her friends giggled. Nikolai was feeling his confidence slip. She was going to crush him in front of her friends. To his surprise, Angeline said, “Certainly.”

Nikolai held out his arm for her to take it. The two of them walked away from her three friends. Nikolai couldn’t believe it. The most beautiful girl in school was on his arm, and she was there willingly. He had no idea what he was going to talk to her about. He only knew that he was very happy she was there. He walked her to a bench, far away from everyone, and allowed her to sit down first. He took his seat on her right.

Angeline looked into his blue eyes. “So, what is it about me that you wanted to talk about, Master Nikolai?”

“First, when it is the two of us, I am just Nikolai. Do not treat me different because my father’s statue is here in the garden, and my great-grandfather happens to be king.”

“As you wish, Nikolai. What do you wish to speak to me about?”

Nikolai suddenly drew a blank. He looked into Angeline’s eyes, and was almost lost in them. He searched his mind and remembered what he wanted to ask her. “Forgive me, Angeline. You are just so pretty.”

“Thank you.”

“I just wanted to ask if you had a boyfriend.”

“No, I do not have a boyfriend.”

Nikolai smiled. “Are you allowed to have one?”

“Are we speaking of a serious boyfriend, or a friend who happens to be a boy?”

“A serious boyfriend.”

“No, my father would have my head.”

“The other kind of boyfriend is okay?”

“Yes.”

“So, when can you have a serious boyfriend?”

“Father said not until I am sixteen.”

Nikolai, very confident in his words, replied, “I guess I can be a friend who happens to be a boy for now.”

“You are very sure of yourself, are you not?”

“Master Darth has told me of the future he has planned for me.”

“The king’s favorite.”

“That is not true.”

“It is true, Nikolai. Everyone knows it,” Angeline said. She paused, and then continued, “That is okay, because you are my favorite too.”

Nikolai smiled, and asked, “What clan do you belong to?”

“I am a member of the Clan of the Night. I believe you know my father’s sister.”

“No, I do not believe I do.”

“Mistress Emma Delarosa is my aunt.”

“The same Emma that works in the nursery with my mother?”

Angeline smiled, and said, “The same.”

Nikolai looked at Angeline, “I have never seen you at the farm.”

“My father will not let me visit. He says it is a very dangerous and dirty place.”

“Now you have a reason to visit.”

“Just because you are related to the king doesn’t mean that you will get your way.”

Nikolai tilted his head in confusion. “You would not like to visit?”

“Maybe. One day.”

“Just let me know when, and I can arrange it for you. Your father can come as well.”

“That is very nice of you, Nikolai.”

“Angeline, I would like to talk to you some more later. Would that be okay?”

“Sure.”

Nikolai smiled. “Good. Well, the king is waiting for me. I just wanted to finally say hello.”

“I am very glad you did.”

Nikolai stood up and held out his arm, and she again willingly took it. He walked her back to her friends and said, “It was nice talking to you Mistress Angeline. I will see you another day.”

“Yes, my lord. You will,” Angeline said as she flashed her smile.

Nikolai flashed his in turn and walked away. He heard her and her friends giggling. He made his way back to Darth, walking proud and tall. Seeing his grandson this way, made him smile as well.

“Are you happy now?” Darth asked.

“I am satisfied, not happy.”

“Well, what will make you happy?”

“I will be happy when she is my girlfriend.”

Darth laughed aloud. “Good luck.”

Over the next three years, Nikolai, and Angeline spent as much time together as they could. They had become an unofficial couple.

At the end of their third year of school, Nikolai and his brothers were getting ready to go home for the summer. Angeline was going to miss him, as she always did. Usually, she would give him a chaste kiss and let him go, knowing that she would see him in three months. This time was different for her. This time brought tears because her feelings had grown over the past year.

Two nights before he was to return home, Nikolai went to see her. When he knocked on the door, Angeline’s father, Damon, answered.

“What can I do for you, Master Nikolai?” Damon asked in his booming voice.

“I would like to talk to Angeline if that is all right with you, my lord.”

“Come in. I will get her for you.”

“Thank you, Master Damon.”

Damon Delarosa was a large handsome man who loved his family very much. Angeline was his second child, and his oldest daughter. Of his four children, she was his favorite. He was well aware of whom his daughter was dealing with, and he wasn’t necessarily comfortable with it. Damon stopped, turned around, and asked, “Nikolai, what are your intentions toward my daughter?”

“I am not certain I understand your meaning, my lord.”

“The both of you have reached seventeen years. You have only one more year of school left, and you are about to enter another phase of your lives. Do you love her?”

“I have not yet told her of my feelings, but yes.”

“So, you are here to make it official then.”

Nikolai nodded. “I am, my lord.”

“Well, this is good. I told her that if you did not commit to her this year, I would forbid her to see you again.”

“Here I am, to tell her just what you wish,” Nikolai said as he smiled.

“In this, I am glad. I will get her for you.”

Damon left the sitting room, and Angeline appeared in his place. She wasn’t happy that she was going to have to say goodbye to Nikolai, perhaps for the last time.

Nikolai could hear the hurt in her voice as Angeline asked, “What do you want, Nicky?”

“I promised you I would come say goodbye before I went home.”

“If you are here to break my heart, then do not waste your time. Leave now.”

Nikolai walked over to her, gently hugged her, and whispered in her ear, “I love you, Angeline Delarosa.”

Angeline pulled away slightly to look him in his sultry blue eyes. “Really?”

“Yes I do. Very much.”

Angeline stroked his cheek. “I love you too, Nicky.”

Nikolai kissed her so passionately that her knees began to buckle. He held her up, stopped kissing her, and walked out the door.

Angeline was left standing there staring at the door. Her father’s voice startled her from the doorway.

“Well?”

She jumped, and turned to face her father. “Well what, Father?”

“Has he committed to you or not?”

“He has.”

“Are you ready to commit to him?”

“I am, Father.”

“I am very happy for you child. But be careful with that one.”

“What is your meaning?”

“I have watched him grow in a different light these past few years. I am not sure if I like what I see. Since he has committed to you, I am willing to let it go.”

“Father, tell me what you mean.”

“I will only say this, my dear. Guard your heart. For if you do not, he will break it and not give it a second thought.”

Angeline didn’t like what her father said, but she replied, “I will, Father. Thank you.”


Byron’s party continued as Nikolai stood there with his hand in his hair, his brother Lucas witnessed the entire episode between him and Angeline. Lucas walked over to his older brother and patted him on the shoulder. “Perhaps if you would stop sleeping with every woman in the coven that would have you, she would listen to you.”

“She wants to join, and I am not ready. I am only twenty-six years old. There are plenty of women in the world.”

Lucas shook his head. “None like her. Nik, look at her. Angeline is the most beautiful creature in the room, and she wants only you.”

“No, I cannot do it. Our parents did not join until they had been together for eighty years. I have plenty of time to settle down.”

Lucas chuckled and said, “If you do not get serious about that woman, Kris is going to take her from you.” Lucas pointed across the room. Angeline was now smiling and laughing in Kristopher’s face.

Nikolai’s smooth cream colored skin turned red with anger. He took a step towards Kristopher, and Lucas grabbed him by the arm.

“Do not do anything to mess up Byron’s party. Mother will have your head.”

Nikolai looked at his brother’s hand and then looked him in the eye. “Lucas, let me go.”

“Nik today is our brother’s twenty-first birthday. The king and queen are here, not to mention the entire panel of elders, the entire council, and their mates. Do not make an ass of yourself.”

“Let go of me, Lucas,” Nikolai said louder.

Lucas smiled, and released his brother’s arm. “Fine. Do not say that I did not warn you.”

“I will not hurt him…much.”

Nikolai walked over to Kristopher and Angeline. When he reached them, he grabbed Angeline by the arm, pulled her close, and whispered in her ear, “Angeline, I need to talk to you.”

Angeline pulled away. “I am talking to your brother.”

Kristopher smiled, and said, “Yes Nik, we were talking.”

“What about?”

Kristopher gave his brother a serious look. “None of your business.”

Nikolai pushed Angeline behind him, and said, “Leave her alone.”

“I have not made any offers to get between her legs, nor have I asked her to join with me. We were just talking, Nik.”

“She has eyes for you. Why?”

Kristopher didn’t back down from his elder brother. Kristopher looked up at Nikolai and quietly said, “Why not?”

Nikolai forgot all about what he told Lucas, and took a swing at his younger brother. Nikolai, being the faster of the two, didn’t miss. His punch landed where he intended. Kristopher’s nose was bleeding, and Kristopher was surprised. His surprise quickly changed to anger, and he attacked his brother. They had each other by the shirt, daring the other to let go.

“She wants me,” Kristopher yelled.

“Bullshit!” Nikolai yelled back.

They were making enough noise now for everyone to notice. Kristopher remembered the training that he had been receiving from his grandfather, Xander, since he was small. He had a preferred style and decided to use it.

Kristopher pulled Nikolai off balance and landed his knee in Nikolai’s stomach. When Nikolai leaned forward, Kristopher grabbed Nikolai by the back of the head, and smashed his head into his knee.

Nikolai was now near unconsciousness. Kristopher then grabbed Nikolai’s upper arm with his left hand, and landed a right back fist to his nose, finishing Nikolai off.

Kristopher let go of his brother’s arm, and Nikolai fell to the ground.

Kristopher was smiling with pride that he knocked Nikolai out. Suddenly, there was a hand on his shoulder. Kristopher’s body, pulled in the direction of the person behind him, suddenly, had an elbow in his face. Kristopher fell to the ground unconscious next to his brother.

When Kristopher crumpled to the ground, Boris said, “Neither of you win.”

Alec walked up to Boris. “Thank you, brother.”

“You are most welcome. Byron deserves to have a happy birthday.”

“Do you want to help me get these two out of here before they wake up?”

“I will carry Nik,” Boris said. “Where am I to put him?”

“Outside in the foyer on one of the sofas. I will be right behind you.”

The two of them picked the brothers up, put them in the foyer, and went back to the party.

Alec walked up to Angeline, and asked, “What happened?”

“I do not know, my lord,” Angeline said softly.

“Come on, Angeline. I know both of my sons have eyes for you.”

“I was not aware that they were fighting over me, my lord.”

Alec sighed, “Angeline, if I were you, I would choose. Nikolai and Kristopher have competed for everything all of their lives. I do not wish for them to fight over you.”

“I have made a choice, my lord, but my choice does not choose me.”

“I will not ask which one it is, because it is not my business to know. Please keep your eyes on the one that you have chosen so that they will fight over you no longer.”

“Yes, my lord,” Angeline said as she walked away.

Brie walked up to Alec and asked, “Were they fighting over her again?”

Alec sighed. “Yes.”

“Beloved, you know that Nik is the one she is in love with.”

“Well, why does she constantly pit brother against brother?”

“Angeline only wants Nik to get serious about their relationship, so this is why she does this. Nikolai is still having fun. He is one of a kind, and the young women find that attractive.”

“He is the only one in history that was born a vampire, and they find that attractive?”

“He is unique. And yes, that is attractive to some.”

“I suppose you are right. Boris and I will go out to the foyer so when the two of them wake up, they do not tear the castle down.”

“I will see you later, beloved.”

Alec gathered Boris, and the two of them went to the foyer to wait for Nikolai and Kristopher to wake.

In the meantime, Tabitha Voss approached Brie. Tabitha was a beautiful half breed with droopy blue eyes. She was short with many curves. Her medium length hair was the color of black smoke, with light colored skin. Tabitha, and Kristopher had a long history, and she was trying her hardest to keep his attention.


Kristopher Thorn was not like any of his brothers. Because of his father’s wish, his grandfather, Xander, began training him to be a great warrior at the age of three. Xander had no idea on how to train his grandson, but because his son in law put him in a position of power, he had no choice but to try.

“Kristopher, I need you to kick right here,” Xander said as he slapped a target on the wall.

Kristopher tried, and missed.

“Try again.”

Kristopher tried, and missed the target a second time.

“Kick higher, grandson. You can do it.”

Kristopher began to cry. “I cannot do it, grandpapa.”

Xander looked at his three year old grandson, and almost got angry with him. He remembered that he should not push him so hard.

“Kris, come here.”

Kristopher walked to Xander with tears still in his eyes. “Grandpapa, do not be mad at me. I tried.”

Xander smiled at him, and said, “I know you tried, but you must do. You do for me, you do for your mother and your papa, you do for your coven, and most of all, for yourself. Do not give up. You will be great one day. You want to be great, do you not?”

“Does great mean I can be a king like papa was?”

“It can mean that, but you are going to be a great warrior like me.”

“I do not want to be a warrior, grandpapa. I want to be a king.”

Xander smiled at his adorable grandson. “How about you become a warrior king?”

Kristopher’s mouth fell open. He gasped and said, “I can do that?”

Xander smiled, “Yes, you can do that. Regardless, a king must know how to fight and protect his coven. I am going to teach you how to do that.”

Kristopher replied. “Okay, grandpapa. I am sorry.”

Xander smiled, hugged his grandson, and said, “That is okay, Kris. Now come. Let me teach you how to be a warrior king.”

Three years later, Kristopher was well on his way to being a great fighter. Because of Xander’s private lessons, at only six Kristopher was in a class with children twice his age. One day, Xander was explaining a certain technique.

“When you are surprised by your enemy, you have no choice but to kill them quickly. If you have no weapon, this may pose a problem. However, the right combination of punches and kicks will render your enemy unable to fight back, and you may kill them then. Kristopher, will you come up here and demonstrate what I mean?”

“Yes, Master Xander. Am I to demonstrate on you?”

“Yes.”

Kristopher made his way to the front of the class and waited for his cue.

“Kristopher, I am going to attack you from behind.” Xander kneeled closely behind Kristopher, and said, “Boo!”

Kristopher pretended to elbow Xander in the stomach. He turned, and grabbed Xander by his right arm. He quickly gave him a mock punch to the face. Xander leaned over; Kristopher grabbed the back of his head and brought his knee to Xander’s face. Xander fell backward onto the ground. Kristopher straddled Xander, grabbed him by the head, and twisted it, mimicking a neck snap. Kristopher stood.

Xander laid there for a moment, and then got up. “Thank you, Kristopher.”

By the time Kristopher was in his last year of school, he had become Xander’s assistant. He was a focused young man of eighteen. He like his older brother loved beautiful women. However, Kristopher didn’t chase. He always watched from afar. By the time he was sixteen, one he watched over a period of years, yet never approached her. This year she though she would make her presence known. Tabitha Voss was horribly attracted to Kristopher, yet he would not give her the time of day. One day after class, she thought she would try again to strike up a conversation.

“Master Kristopher, I am having trouble with a particular kick. I was wondering if you could help me.”

Without knowing it, Xander turned Kristopher into a young man modeled after himself. Kristopher had no time for women. Xander was gathering his things. He looked up and witnessed the entire exchange.

“Mistress Tabitha, if you would pay more attention in class you would not be having trouble,” Kristopher said.

“I do pay attention in class,” Tabitha smiled.

Kristopher looked at her. “No, you are not paying attention in class. You are busy sitting in the back of the room, giggling with your friends.”

“Will you help me?” Tabitha asked.

“No, I will not. I suggest that you practice.”

“I do practice, but I want to be as good as you.”

Kristopher sighed. “No one will be as good as me. I am unique. Get away from me girl, you are getting on my damn nerves.”

Tabitha gasped, and ran from the room in tears. This didn’t make Xander happy. He saw something in Kristopher that reminded him of how he used to be, and he didn’t want his grandson to go in that direction.

“Kristopher Xander Thorn, that was rude.”

“Grandfather, I do not have time to train someone one on one. I have my own training to do as well as my other studies.”

“We, as a people, are one. If there is one weak link amongst us, we all fall. You should know this. It should be in your head, always. You come from royalty, for goodness sake. Why did you do that?”

“It is as I said. I do not have time for private study. I have my own life.”

“You will go find her and help her with her battle skills,” Xander said firmly.

Kristopher was feeling a bit cockier than he should have, and replied, “No. Tabitha Voss will not receive training from me. At eighteen, she is still an unfocused, giggly little girl. I will be wasting my time.”

Kristopher didn’t see his grandfather move, and before he knew it, Xander punched Kristopher in the face so hard he fell to the ground. He grabbed Kristopher’s head, and gave it a slight twist.

“Boy, who do you think you are that you can defy me?”

“Please, Grandfather, do not kill me.”

“I have killed people for less. You will not defy me for three reasons. First, I am your grandfather. Second, I am second seat on the panel of elders. Third, I am your teacher. All three of these positions are above you, and all of them deserve respect. You will go find Tabitha, apologize to her for your rudeness, and help her with whatever she needs help with. Do I make myself clear?”

Kristopher stared at his grandfather a moment, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. Kristopher then began to cry. Xander was unsure if Kristopher was crying because he scolded him or if he feared for his life. Xander let go of Kristopher’s head, and got up.

“What is the matter with you?”

Kristopher got up, and continued to cry.

“Kristopher, I asked you what is wrong.”

Kristopher shook his head, sat down in the closest chair, and continued to cry.

“What do you mean there is nothing wrong with you? Tell me.”

Kristopher buried his face in his hands, and cried harder.

“Tell me what is wrong with you, or I will knock you out.”

Xander allowed Kristopher to gain his composure. When he had calmed down enough to answer, something unexpected escaped his mouth. Kristopher didn’t look at Xander but whispered, “I love her.”

Xander didn’t hear what his grandson said, so he asked, “What?”

Kristopher looked up at Xander, and yelled, “I love her, all right?”

Xander was shocked. Kristopher had never showed any interest in anyone before, so why now?

Xander put his hand on his grandson’s shoulder, and quietly said, “Forgive me. I simply wanted to know why you cried. I did not wish for you to tell me something that was secret. I did not wish to know.”

“Now you do.”

“Loving Tabitha is not a bad thing. What about loving her makes you so upset?”

“You.”

“Me? I do not understand.”

“Yes, Grandfather, you. I have been training to be you for most of my life. Xander Lestat, the one who killed Hannibal. Xander Lestat, the one who boasts the best warriors in the coven. Xander Lestat, the extremely focused warrior and leader. Xander Lestat, the only one on the panel of elders who has no mate. Is this not who I am supposed to be?”

Xander hung his head, sighed, and replied, “No.”

“No?”

“No Kristopher, you are not supposed to be me. The man who is your grandfather, your elder and your teacher, is flawed.”

“Grandfather, there are no flaws in you.”

“Yes Kristopher, I am flawed. I have worked hard to hide it, but I am not perfect.”

“Grandfather-”

“Grandson, listen. I never wanted you to be just like me. That was your father’s dream. I do not think that he wished to look at me, and then look at you, and see the same man. Alec respects me as his father, and I love him as my son. When he asked me to train you I was honored, but I had no intentions on turning you into me.”

“You do not have a mate. This allows you to focus on what is important to the coven, is it not? If I am to do the same, how can I be in love? Women are different from men. They require special attention. If they do not get it when they want it, they turn into monsters and get the attention they originally desired in the first place. I am not supposed to love Tabitha.”

“Do you really think that I am so focused because I am lonely?”

“You are lonely? I would not have thought that. I thought you chose to be this way.”

“No. I have loved only twice in my lifetime. The first love of my life was your maternal grandmother. Kristina was one of the most beautiful humans I had ever encountered. I knew that when I impregnated her she was going to die. I told her she was going to die, and she obviously did not wish it to happen.

“I did something that was forbidden. I turned her during her pregnancy. Your mother was still born half human, but by the time she was born, Kristina was a vampire. Hannibal harshly scolded me, because what I did was dangerous. However, I did not want to lose her.

“As it turned out, Hannibal was attracted to Kristina, and ordered her to be with him. I am still unsure of the reason, but when he was finished with her, he killed her. I was without the love of my life, and I turned into the man you seem to think I am.

“My second mate Natasha was also murdered. If Master Jaymes, your paternal grandfather, had not killed her, I was going to do it myself. Natasha did not wish to be with me, but with Hannibal. She used my closeness to him to be intimate with him.

“She was a jealous woman, and killed your grandmother in order to be with the one she truly desired.

“No, Kristopher, I did not choose to be this way. Life has made me this way. If you love Tabitha, do not let your image of me stop you. I was still a focused warrior with each of my mates. I also knew how to separate the warrior from the mate.

“Do not let my missteps in life be yours. If you love her, go after her.”

“It is all right?”

“Yes. I do not wish you to be lonely and unhappy. Women are a blessing. A real man cannot get along in this life without one. If I have led you to believe anything else, I am sorry.”

Kristopher looked up at his grandfather. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome. Now, go find her, and tell her of your feelings. Do not keep this a secret from her any longer.”

Kristopher smiled. “I will not, Grandfather.”

Xander returned the smile. “Go. If you do not catch her, you may lose her to someone else. I think I saw Master Malachi’s grandson looking at her.”

Kristopher wasted no time. He got up, and ran from the training room to locate the woman that he had secretly loved for the last two years.

Kristopher looked all over the castle for her. When he finally caught up to her, she was walking in the direction of her chamber with one of her friends.

“Tabitha Voss,” Kristopher yelled.

Tabitha looked up, and saw who it was that called her name. She was angry, and if it were up to her friend, she would have never spoken to him again. She rolled her eyes, and kept walking.

“Tabitha Voss, as your teacher, I demand you to stop right now!” Kristopher yelled.

She could not go against the will of her teacher, so she stopped in her tracks but didn’t turn around. Instead, the friend who was with her turned around and blocked him from her.

“What do you want, Master Kristopher?” Tabitha’s friend Jacqueline asked.

“It is not your concern. Please leave us so that I may talk to her.”

“She does not wish to talk to you. You are a rude, rich, pompous asshole just like your brothers.”

“How dare you.”

“Well, you are. If you want to talk to her, you are going to have to get through me.”

Kristopher didn’t let her big talk get in his way. He scoffed at her words, pushed Jacqueline out of the way, grabbed Tabitha by her left arm, spun her around, and quietly said, “I am sorry.” Before Tabitha knew it, Kristopher had pinned her to the wall, and his tongue was halfway down her throat. He kissed her so deeply that she forgot that she was angry with him.

When he let her up for air, she smiled at him. “Will you help me with that kick now?”

Kristopher was happy that he was finally able to touch her. He met her gaze. “I will help you with anything you wish me to. I love you, Tabitha. I have been in love with you for the last two years.”

“Well why did you-”

Kristopher interrupted. “I did not know that I was allowed to love you. I kept my love for you a secret. If you will allow me to, I want to love you freely.”

“Of course.”

Without speaking another word, he planted his lips against hers and kissed her again.

He wanted her. He had already been intimate with several young girls. He didn’t know if Tabitha had been intimate with anyone, nor did he care. She was going to be his.

Kristopher stopped kissing her, and whispered, “I want you, Tabitha. I have never wanted anyone so much in my life. Will you be with me?”

Tabitha whispered back, “When?”

“Now.”

Tabitha didn’t answer verbally. She gave him a chaste kiss to let him know it was okay.

Now, where to take her? Kristopher quickly thought that the only place in the entire castle where he wouldn’t be disturbed would be in his grandfather’s chamber.

“Come with me.”

Kristopher grabbed her hand, and began to lead her back to his room within his grandfather’s chamber.

Even though Kristopher pushed her aside, Jacqueline didn’t leave her friend’s side for one minute. When he began to lead Tabitha away from her, she asked, “Where are you taking her?”

Kristopher stopped and turned around. “That is none of your business. You are not to try to keep her from me ever again. If you even think about coming between us, I will ensure that you receive a failing grade in my class. Is that understood?”

“Yes, Master Kristopher.”

“Go home, Jacqueline.”

She turned and did as instructed.

Kristopher continued to lead Tabitha to his grandfather’s chamber. When they arrived, he led her to his room. Once inside, he closed and locked the door. Kristopher walked over to Tabitha, placed his hands on her hips, pulled her into him, and kissed her on the lips. He had already made up his mind that he was going to have her, but he didn’t want to disrespect her.

“Tabitha, I must know. Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“If I say yes, will it change the way you feel about me?”

“No. I only want to know if I have to be gentle with you or not.”

“Do not worry. I have been touched before.”

Kristopher pulled her even closer to him, and kissed her deeply. Tabitha returned his kiss. She reached around the back of his head, and removed the satin black ribbon that he wore to keep his shoulder length black hair from his face. Tabitha was instantly aroused as his hair gently brushed her cheeks. She began to run her fingers through it, exciting Kristopher.

“Pull it. Pull my hair Tabitha,” Kristopher demanded.

Tabitha did as he asked, and Kristopher kissed her even deeper. The two of them, meant to be together, made love for the first time. Everything Kristopher had bottled up inside him for the last two years he released inside Tabitha.

When they were finished, he kissed her softly on the lips. “How do you feel?” Kristopher asked.

Tabitha smiled, and said, “Wonderful.”


Tabitha, like the others in the room, witnessed the fight between Nikolai and Kristopher. She wanted to be sure that Kristopher was okay, so she sought out his mother.

“Mistress Brie, is Kristopher okay?”

“I do not know, but I am sure that he will be fine. Master Boris and Alec are tending to him,” Brie said.

Tabitha sighed. “Thank goodness. You know, mistress, Kristopher is the most handsome man in the coven. Save for Master Alec, of course. If I were to have my way, I would join with him.”

“Well what is keeping you from that? The two of you are certainly of age to join if you wish.”

The look on Tabitha’s face instantly turned to anger. “Angeline Delarosa.”

“I happen to know that Angeline desires Nikolai.”

“If that is the case, why does she keep flirting with Kristopher?”

“It is her way to gain Nikolai’s attention,” Brie said.

“Well, she needs to figure out another way and leave Kristopher alone.”

Brie tilted her head to one side. “Tabitha my dear, are you also attracted to Nikolai?”

“No. Why do you ask?”

“Tell me the truth. He is special among our people, and I have yet to meet a young woman that is not attracted to him.”

“Until now. Nikolai is conceited. He is very handsome, yes, but he knows that many women desire him. I do not like men like this. I like men like Kristopher and Master Xander.”

“The warrior type?”

“Exactly.”

“In this I am pleased. Enjoy the party, Mistress Tabitha. I am going to speak with the birthday boy.”

Tabitha smiled. “He seems to be quite busy with Regan.”

“The very reason I am going to speak with him.” Brie walked across the room to speak with her youngest son.

Byron was engaged in a passionate kiss with the girl he has adored for the last five years. He, being the youngest of his brothers, was by far the laziest. He didn’t think he had to do anything around the Baby Farm. He knew if he just took his time in his task, his brothers would take care of it for him.

Byron was a handsome young man with wavy, waist length, charcoal hair that he wore in a braided ponytail. He was the shortest of all of his brothers. He lifted weights, thinking he could make up for his height in girth. This made him the most muscular of his brothers, and he had beautifully tan skin.


When Byron was thirteen years old, he was visiting with his great-grandfather, Darth, at one of his many farms. While he was there, he happened to witness a colt being born.

Darth looked at his grandson. “If you take care of this one, I will give him to you on your sixteenth birthday.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“I will take care of him, Grandfather.”

“Good.”

Three years later, the mail carriage approached the farm with a special gift for Byron. Gently pulled behind the carriage was the three year old stallion that Darth promised him. Isabella was usually the one to see the mail first when it arrived. Willow informed Isabella that the mail had come.

“My lady, the mail is here.”

“What are you waiting on, Willow? Give it to me.”

“I am afraid that it is too big for me to carry, my lady.”

Isabella looked at Willow confused. “What is it?”

“It is a horse, my lady.”

Isabella chuckled. “That would be a birthday present for Master Byron.”

“I will tell him it is here, my lady.”

“Thank you, Willow.”

Byron was happy to receive his stallion. He would ride after his chores were finished, sometimes before they even began. From time to time, this would get him in trouble, but Byron didn’t care.

Byron woke one morning to find that there were no chores on his list. He immediately went down to the stable, got on his horse, and rode while it was still very cool. Deciding to go somewhere he’d never been, managed to get twenty miles away from the castle. He noticed a beautiful young girl sitting by a tree, reading.

Byron stopped and spoke to her. “Hello.”

The girl looked up and saw a very handsome young man on his horse. “That is a beautiful horse.”

“Thank you. His name is Midnight. I raised him.”

“I have never seen you around here before. Where do you come from?” The girl asked.

“I live around twenty miles south of here.”

She closed her book, stood up, and began to back away. “Get away from me.”

“What is the matter?”

“You are one of them.”

Byron was confused. “One of whom?”

“You are a Nightwalker. Get back, monster.”

“I can assure you I am not a Nightwalker. I do believe that now they prefer to be called vampires.”

“If you are not one of them how would you know this?”

“Tell me your name, beautiful one, and I will tell you how I know this.”

“Do not mock me, monster. I am not beautiful.”

“Whoever told you that told you a lie. Tell me your name.”

She stopped backing away long enough to answer the question. “My name is Regan. Now you tell me how you know so much about the Nightwalkers.”

“May I get down from my horse?”

“No.”

“I am afraid that if I were a Nightwalker, I would already have a great advantage. If I were to stay upon my horse, my advantage would be greater still. Do you not think so?”

Regan looked away from him, and said, “I suppose so. Yes, you may get down, but do not take one step towards me.”

Byron said, “Agreed,” and dismounted. “My name is Byron, and I live in the castle of Master and Lady Boris Bloodworth. That is how I know about Nightwalkers.”

“That tells me nothing, Brian.”

“Byron.”

Regan managed a smile at her own mistake. “Byron, you have told me nothing.”

Byron sighed. “I know because the Bloodworths and the many others that live in the castle with me are vampires. It doesn’t mean that I am one.”

“Well how is it that you live amongst them, and you are human?”

“I never said I was human.”

“Well what are you?”

Byron shrugged. “Well, I am mostly human. My father is half vampire, and half human. My birth mother was human. That would make me one quarter vampire, three quarters human.”

Regan was still in fear for her life. “Even a little bit of Nightwalker blood makes you dangerous,” Regan replied.

Byron softened his face. “Mistress Regan, you do not even know me.” Byron sighed, and asked, “Will you allow me to sit? I will tell you my story if you are inclined to hear it.”

Curious, Regan could not help herself. She glared at Byron. “You will not hurt me?”

Byron shook his head. “No. I will not hurt you.”

Still not trusting him, Regan hesitated. “Okay. You may sit next to that tree, and I will sit next to this one.”

“Thank you, beautiful Regan,” Byron said as he sat and leaned against his designated tree.

“Why do you keep saying that I am beautiful?”

Byron spoke his words almost poetically. “Regan, beautiful Regan. Eyes as wide as the ocean, but not blue. When I look at your eyes, I think of only the most delectable milk chocolate. Your beautiful thick, wavy black hair, pulled back in a loose flowing ponytail, allows me to admire your smooth dark skin.

“Yes, Regan it is as I said before. Someone told you a lie. You are a most beautiful young woman.”

Regan smiled, and that made Byron even happier, because her smile was the topping on the cake.

“You have a beautiful smile as well.”

“Tell me Brian-”

“Byron.”

Regan giggled, and repeated the beginning of her sentence. By the time the two of them were finished talking, it was noon. They enjoyed each other’s company so much they didn’t realize that time had gotten away from them.

Before she knew it, she heard a familiar voice calling her name.

“Byron, my father is calling me. I have to go.”

Byron looked up at the sky, and noted the sun’s position. “I did not realize that it had gotten so late. I am going to be in some trouble myself.” Byron walked toward Regan, helped her up, and asked, “Will I see you again?”

“I am usually here most mornings. I like to read before I start my chores. If it is a good book, I rush through my chores so I can continue reading.”

“Well then, I will try to make it as often as I can.” Byron stroked her cheek in a loving way, and before the two of them knew it, they were kissing.

Regan heard her father call her name again. She slowly broke the embrace, looked behind her, and said, “I have to go.”

“I understand,” Byron said.

Regan looked into his eyes. “I will be so angry with you if I never see you again, Byron Thorn.”

Byron stroked her cheek again. “I will be angry with myself. I will see you soon, I promise. Go now, before you get in trouble.”

“Bye,” Regan said, as she ran in the direction of her father’s voice.

Byron mounted his horse, and rode back home. By the time he put Midnight in the stable, Kristopher and Lucas were standing outside waiting for him.

Kristopher asked, “Where have you been?”

“Riding.”

“Must have been one hell of a ride,” Lucas said sarcastically.

“I met a girl.”

“A girl? Was she pretty?” Lucas asked, changing his tone.

“Beautiful.”

“Well, I hope you can keep your head out of the clouds until the work is done. Master Boris is furious,” Kristopher said. “You were supposed to help Remus with the donors this morning.”

Byron gritted his teeth. “Damn, I forgot.”

“Well if you do not want to be punished, you better get to work.”

“Right.”

For the next two months, Byron went to see Regan as often as he could. The two of them had grown quite fond of each other. One morning, close to the end of summer, Byron rode to see Regan. She was sitting in her normal spot, not reading, but crying.

Byron dismounted Midnight, walked to her, and sat next to her. “Regan, what is wrong?

“School will be starting soon. When it does, I may not see you again.”

“Why not?”

“I am at the age that girls around here get married. This is my last year of school, and I believe my father has found someone for me to marry.”

Byron was shocked. “Regan, that makes no sense,” he said as he stood up. He held out his hand for her to take it. Regan took his hand, and he pulled her up from the ground.

“I am sorry Byron, but that is how things work around here.”

Byron held her by both arms. “Regan, would you like to join with me?”

“With you? How?”

“Would you like to join with me?”

“Of course.”

“So, you are saying that you love me?”

Regan nodded. “Yes.”

“Good. I am in love with you as well, and no one is going to take you away from me.”

“Byron, I still have to finish school.”

“You will. I never said that we were going to join now. I have to finish school as well. If you are certain that this is what you want, I can make it happen.”

“How?”

“You are going to be taken away by the Nightwalkers never to be seen again.”

“My father will try to fight you.”

“Regan, if you choose to be with me, and your choice is an honest one, you will never see your father again.”

“Never?”

“Never. If he chooses to fight, he will have to die.”

Regan backed away. “You will kill him?”

Byron shook his head. “No, but if you wish to be with me, he will have to die.”

Regan turned her back. “I do love you, but I am not sure I want my father to die.”

Byron walked up to her, and hugged her from behind. “Regan Gore, I do not think that we met by chance. I believe that we were fated to meet. I will not let you join with someone else. If you truly love me, you will leave this life behind, and begin anew with me.”

“This life is all I know. I do not know if I can start over.”

“You are afraid. I promise that no one will ever harm you.”

Regan turned, looked at Byron, and said, “I am human. How can you guarantee that I will not be killed or turned against my will?”

“My paternal grandmother was human. She lived among our people for many years. She had the protection of the highest clan in our coven. Unfortunately, my father’s birth is what killed her. If this is your choice, you will have that same protection.”

“Will you allow me to think about it?”

“Regan, there is nothing to think about.”

“If I choose to be with you, I may as well kill my father myself. Could you do this? Could you kill one of your parents?”

“You are correct. Forgive me. I will let you think about it.”

“Thank you.”

“When does school start?”

“Two weeks.”

“I will be back next week for your answer. You will not see me until then. That will give you plenty of time for you to make up your mind. If I am not here, I cannot cloud your judgment.”

“I will miss you.”

“And I you.”

Byron gave her a chaste kiss, and said, “It is time that you started your chores. I will see you next week. I hope that you choose me over a stranger.” He mounted his horse and rode away. He was upset that he might lose his first love to someone else. He had to make sure that it was not going to happen. When he got home, his parents were at rest. He sought out Boris. He had to talk to someone.

Byron found Boris in the birthing wing, cleaning up after a new baby.

“Master Boris, might I have a word with you?”

“Certainly Byron. I will be with you shortly. Go wait for me in my chamber.”

Byron turned and left the room. Boris finished his task, and went to his chamber to talk with Byron.

“What is it that you wish to talk about?” Boris asked.

Byron stuck his chest out proudly. “I will not beat around the bush. Master Boris, I am in love with a young girl, and her father wants her to join with a stranger. I want her for myself. What do I do?”

Boris was proud that he was the first to hear of such exciting news. “Tell me about this girl before I give you my answer.”

Byron told Boris the whole story about Regan.

“She is human?”

“Yes, but I love her.”

Boris didn’t hesitate to step in the shoes of an elder. “It is dangerous for her to live here. Perhaps you should let her join with who her father chose.”

“No. I will not give her up.”

Boris looked at Byron. “Well, I have never seen such determination in one so young. I can see that your feelings for her are real. How long do we have?”

“In one week, I am to see her for her answer. If she says yes, then we kill her father and embrace her here. If she says no, I will let her go.”

“I almost thought you were going to say that we were going to kill her father anyway.”

“Master Boris, if it were up to me, it would already be done. But I have to respect her wishes, do I not?”

Boris looked Byron in his eyes. “How did you get to be so wise at such a young age?”

Byron smiled. “I have wise men around me.”

That evening, when Alec and Brie woke, Byron had the very same conversation with them.

“If she says yes, son, you are more than welcome to bring her here. We will protect her.”

“That is the least of my worries. If she says yes, what are we to do about her father? I told her that he had to die. Was I wrong in telling her this?”

“You leave that up to us. We will take care of that for you. All we need to know is her answer.”

“Thank you, Father.”

Brie looked at Byron, and asked, “Byron, you are only sixteen years old. Are you certain that you are ready for this type of responsibility?”

“Mother, what do you mean?”

“To bring this girl here is dangerous; as I’m sure Boris has already told you. You will have to watch over her and be sure that she stays safe when we are not able to. Are you ready for that?”

“Yes Mother, I am.”

“In this, I am pleased. Since Nikolai has moved from our house into the castle, we have room for her. She will be safest with us.”

“Thank you, Mother.”

“Son, you are welcome to go and finish your chores. Could you find Nikolai and send him in here with us?” Alec asked.

“Certainly, Father.”

“Brie my dear, you may go back to the nursery. Boris and I are going to have a chat with Nikolai.”

Brie kissed her two favorite men on the cheek, and went back to work. When she left, Boris was very vocal about Byron’s latest venture.

“Alec, he should not bring her here.”

“I agree, but if we do not let him, we may never see him again.”

“You think he would run off?”

“Believe me. I know exactly how he is feeling. I was in love with forbidden fruit at his age.”

“Brie?”

“Of course. Xander told her that I would break her heart if she got too close to me, so she stayed away. I was so very happy when I learned she was here and I would be free to love her.”

“So, if she says yes, we go kill her father.”

“Correct.”

Just then, Nikolai walked in. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes. Son, how would you like to go on a raid with your brothers, Master Boris, and myself?”

Nikolai smiled, and said, “Sounds like fun.”

“Nik this is serious. Byron has found himself a woman.”

Nikolai had a confused look on his face. “Byron has found a woman, during the summer?”

Boris looked at Nikolai. “He is quite serious about her.”

Nikolai sighed. “She is human.”

Alec asked, “How did you know?”

Nikolai sighed. “Father, we live in the country. If he did not meet this girl while he was in school, what else could she be?”

“Do you want to go with us or not?”

“I am not sure. Since she is only human, this may be boring.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Humans die so easily. I wished my first raid to be with a worthy opponent.”

Alec was determined to get Nikolai to agree with him so he went as low as he could go. “You can stay here. While we are gone, you will be in charge of the farm.”

Nikolai’s face scrunched up and he asked, “And if I decide to go, who will be in charge?”

“Master Remus,” Boris said.

“You need this. Think of it as a training mission,” Alec said.

“Father, you do not have to convince me. As much as I know my duties, I will take an easy kill over taking care of the coven’s children any day.”

“Good. Gather Kris and Lucas. We will go over the battle plan.”

“Forgive me Father, but Byron should be in on this as well.”

“Byron has chores to do. Unless you want to do his chores for him, you will let him be.”

Boris turned to Alec. “Brother, we need him. Without Byron, we have no idea where to go. We do not know what this Regan looks like. What if we kill her by mistake?”

Alec sighed. “I am trying to teach my lazy son some responsibility. However, you are correct. Collect Byron as well. We will be here.”

Several minutes later, the six of them were discussing Byron’s situation.

“She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen,” Byron said.

“Yes Byron, but what does she look like?” asked Boris.

“Human. Black hair, brown eyes, dark skin. She has a body that would kill a man on sight.”

Nikolai looked at his brother. “So, we are looking for an extremely sexy, dark skinned woman.”

Byron glared, at Nikolai. “Yes, but do not get any ideas, Nik. I love her, and will kill for her.”

“Baby brother, I am in a committed relationship. I have no desire for your woman.”

“Good. Keep it that way.”

One week later, Byron had the answer he was looking for. Regan told him that she would leave everything she knew behind, and move in with his family.

Between Boris, Alec and his sons, they planned the raid. They were to go into the small village and kill all that stood against them. The last target was the Gore house where Byron was to enter alone.

He burst in the front door, smiled a sinister smile, and said, “I am here for your daughter. Tell me where she is.”

“I will not. I have heard the screams of my friends and neighbors. You will not take her from me, monster!”

“I love her, and I will have her. If you do not give her to me willingly, you will die and I will have her anyway,” Byron said quietly.

“I will die a violent death before I give my child up to the likes of you!”

“Your choice.” Byron kept his promise. He wouldn’t kill Regan’s father. With his words, he left the house. Boris, Alec, and Byron’s brothers went inside. Alec called out for Regan. Not recognizing Alec’s voice, she peeked into the living room where five men stood.

“Come on out, child. Byron is outside waiting for you,” Alec said calmly.

She looked at her father. “Father, I’m leaving. You will never see me again.”

“Regan, please forgive me. I am sorry for everything I have done to you. Just do not leave me to these monsters.”

“Any man who beats his own child like a slave and attempts to sell her like one deserves to be left with monsters. These men are nowhere near the monster you are. Father, I would like you to meet my new family.”

“Regan, you cannot mean that.”

“Die well, Father. I will not miss you.” Regan walked past everyone and out the front door. She did not look back.

A moment later, Byron’s family emerged with bloodstained mouths and bloody clothing. Without a word, they mounted their horses.

Once they were ready, Boris said, “Come, Byron. Let us get Regan home.”

Byron nodded. He helped Regan mount Midnight, and he climbed up after her.

“Hang on,” Byron said as he put his arms around her.

Boris clicked his teeth, and his horse began to run. Everyone followed him. They rode away from the small village with the new family member.

When they arrived back at the farm, all went their separate ways, except Byron and Regan. The two of them looked at each other.

“Byron, I am surprised.”

“About?”

“You kept your promise. You said that you would not personally kill my father.”

“Regan, do you really think I could have killed him and retained your trust?”

“No. Forgive me. Now what do I do?”

“My first priority was to get you here. Now you learn our ways. I would like to introduce you to my mother and Lady Isabella.”

“I would like that.”

Byron took her hand in his. “Come then. Let us find them.” They went to his house behind the castle, far away from danger. When he opened the door, he called out, “Mother, are you here?”

The house was quiet, so Byron called out again, “Mother, I am home! I have someone I want you to meet!”

Still no one answered. Byron decided to take advantage of the house being empty.

“Looks like no one is here.”

Byron turned to face Regan. He placed his hands on both sides of her face, and gave her soft kisses, one after another. Soon Byron’s kisses became more passionate. Regan wrapped her hands around his neck, and returned his love.

Byron pulled her closer to him, held her tighter, kissed her deeper. Regan didn’t stop him. The kiss that they shared was getting more, and more intense. Soon the two of them moved to the nearby sofa.

Byron laid her down, held himself above her, and continued to kiss her. It was then that both Isabella, and Brie, walked into the house.

“Byron Darth Thorn, get off of that girl,” Brie said sternly.

Embarrassed, the two of them quickly got up from the sofa. Byron spoke first. “Mother, I would like you to meet Regan Gore.”

Brie glared at Byron, and sternly said, “Your father came to the nursery and told me that you had returned. I did not expect to walk in on this. I am pleased to meet you, Regan. You are as beautiful as my son told me you were.”

Regan looked at Byron. He smiled, nodded, and Regan replied, “Thank you, mistress.”

Brie was still upset at the thought of her youngest son kissing, let alone kissing a girl she didn’t know. However, she didn’t want to disrespect one of her closest friends, and introduced her. “Regan, this is our clan leader’s mate, Lady Isabella Bloodworth.”

Regan lowered her eyes, and said, “It is nice to meet you, Lady Isabella.”

“I am also pleased to meet you. Are you hungry?”

“Yes, my lady.”

“Good. Brie when you are finished, bring her to our chamber, we will eat there.”

“I will. Thank you, my lady.”

“Byron, you may clean up and dress for dinner in the castle. Leave your mother and Regan alone for a while.”

“Yes, my lady.”

They left the house and returned to the castle. It was quiet in the room as Brie stared at Regan. Brie sat in the chair in front of her and said nothing. This was making Regan nervous. Finally Brie spoke. “I do not ever want to walk in here and see that again. Save that behavior for behind closed doors. Is that understood?”

“Forgive me, mistress. I apologize for disrespecting your house.”

“Apology accepted. Now let us get you settled. I will show you to your room.”

The two of them went upstairs. Brie opened the door to Nikolai’s old room. “This was my oldest son’s room. When he turned twenty-one he had no desire to stay in the family home and moved into the castle.”

“It is a very nice room.”

“I am glad that you like it. We will have to get you some decent clothing. My son’s girlfriend will not be walking around here looking like one of our workers.”

“Forgive me, mistress. We were poor, my father, and I.”

Brie looked at Regan and said, “It is going to be very dangerous for you if we allow you to roam the hallways of the castle as a human. The only humans who are here are the blood donors, and the pregnant women who help propagate our species. They are insignificant. Unless you want to be a victim, we will have to connect you to Byron so that you will be safe.”

“How?”

“We will have to find someone to perform a little blood magic. This will keep other vampires away from you, and you will be protected.”

“Will it hurt?”

“No. But it will require that you watch Byron masturbate himself.”

“Watch him?”

Brie was a bit surprised at Regan’s naivety, but she answered her question. “Yes. You are the object of his affection, so you must be there in order for the magic to work. Afterwards, you will drink his fluids in a cup of coffee or tea. Words are said as you are drinking. Afterward, you will be bound to him.”

“Will he be bound to me?”

“If it is your wish, we will use some of your menstrual blood, and feed it to him in the same manner he will then be bound to you. In the meantime, you are not to go to the castle without someone from this house. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, mistress.”

“Good, I want you to take a shower, and I will find you one of my old dresses to wear. If it fits, I will loan all of my old dresses to you until your order comes from the Castle of Kings. Will that be okay?”

Regan smiled, and said, “Yes, mistress, thank you.”

“This room has its own private bath chamber. You will find everything you need in there. Do you have a favorite color?”

“Blue.”

Brie smiled, and said, “I will find a pretty blue dress for you. When you are finished washing, if you need some help getting dressed, I will help you. Afterwards, we will go to the castle for dinner.”

“Thank you for taking me into your home, mistress. I am grateful.”

“You are most welcome, Regan.”

An hour later, Brie and Regan went to the private chamber of Boris and Isabella to find them there with the remainder of the Thorn family. Regan’s first thought was how beautiful the room was. Then she looked at the seven men that sat around the room. How handsome all of them were. They had cleaned themselves up and dressed for dinner.

They stood up when she and Brie entered the room. One by one, they introduced themselves.

Boris walked up to Regan, and said, “Welcome to the Baby Farm, Mistress Regan. I am Master Boris Bloodworth. I am now your clan leader.”

Regan lowered her eyes, and said, “It is a pleasure to meet you, my lord.”

Alec was next. “It is good to meet you, mistress. I am Master Alec Thorn. I am Byron’s father.”

“Thank you for allowing me to stay in your home, Master Alec.”

Nikolai was afraid to get close to her. He could smell her blood from across the room, and didn’t want to hurt her.

“Forgive me, mistress. I fear that if I come too close, I may do something that may get me killed. I am Nikolai Thorn, the oldest of the Thorn Brothers.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Nikolai.”

Kristopher and Lucas introduced themselves up close and personal. They thought that Byron had made a very good choice. Once she cleaned up, she was exquisite.

Byron walked up to her, kissed her on the cheek, and said, “You are stunning.”

Regan smiled, and said, “Thank you.”

Boris looked around the room. “Well now, let us get to know Mistress Regan a bit shall we? Let us go into the dining room. Dinner is served.”

One week later, the blood magic ritual was taking place. Byron was a bit nervous, as he had never once masturbated in front of anyone. It was a private thing between him and his member. Regan was also nervous because she had never seen a naked man, besides her father, and that was by accident.

The woman that was going to perform the ritual was from the same coven as Isabella’s sister. Her name was Luna.

The three of them went into Byron’s room and closed the door. She had a few questions before she began.

“The two of you are quite young to want to be bound together like this. Why are you doing this?”

Byron replied, “It is for Regan’s safety. We have some very dangerous vampires in our coven. When she is bound to me, she will no longer be seen as food.”

“I see. Are you certain that this is what you want, Regan? This spell can only be removed by me, and it takes a lot more to remove it than to put it on.”

“I am certain, Mistress Luna.”

“Well then, I have the tea ready. Regan, when Byron is ready, he will collect his semen and put it in the tea. You are to come into your room where I will be waiting to finish the ritual. Stay here with him, and assist him if necessary. No intimacy. If you do, this will complicate things and we will have to begin again. Am I clear on this?”

Both Byron and Regan answered, “Yes, mistress.”

“Fine. I will leave you to your business,” Luna said as she left the room.

Byron looked at Regan. “Are you ready?”

“I am nervous. I have never seen a naked man before.”

“I need you to help me get going, and then you may close your eyes if you wish.”

“Okay,” Regan said as Byron kissed her deeply and then laid her on his bed. Byron began gently rubbing her breasts, and again Regan did not refuse him. She was beginning to get excited herself. After a while, she felt an unfamiliar wetness between her legs. Byron began kissing her on her neck, and Regan let out a small whimper. That small noise is all it took. He stopped kissing her. “Are you afraid to look at my nakedness now?”

Regan whispered, “No.”

Byron got off her and removed his pants. Regan looked at his erection bobbing up and down in front of her. She grinned like a schoolgirl. “Can I touch it?”

“If you want to.”

Regan ran her finger up and down his member, and Byron quivered. She kept doing this until he said, “Hold it in your hand.”

Regan wrapped her hand around the middle of his member, and asked, “Like this?”

“Yes.”

Byron grabbed her wrist. “Do not let go.” He began to move her wrist back and forth so she was massaging him to an even harder erection. He began to moan with pleasure, and managed to say, “Faster.”

Regan complied. A little drip of wetness escaped from the tip of his member.

“What is that?” Regan asked.

“That is the beginning of my orgasm. Do not stop, Regan. Keep going.”

The faster she went, the louder he moaned. Suddenly she had the urge to taste the wetness that was coming from his body. She put her tongue on the tip of his member, nearly sending Byron over the edge. He just needed a little bit more time, so he suggested, “Put it in your mouth.”

Regan put the head of his member into her mouth as she continued to stroke him. Byron moaned loudly. “Oh God! Regan, stop! Get the tea!”

Regan grabbed the cup, and handed it to Byron. He pointed his member into the cup, and had one of the largest orgasms he had in his sixteen years. Regan watched in amazement as Byron stroked his member rapidly. When his orgasm subsided, he handed the cup to Regan. “Go. Finish the ritual.”

Regan left the room, and went to her own room where Luna was waiting. She looked at Regan, and asked, “Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“Are you certain that you love him enough to be bound to him?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Drink the tea.” Regan put the cup to her lips and began to drink. As she did, Luna said in Spanish, “Porque usted lo ama, usted estará limitado a él para la eternidad. Usted no podrá rechazarlo, y él le protegerá siempre.”

She finished her words just as Regan finished her tea. Luna smiled at her, and said, “It is done.”

“How do I know it worked?”

“First of all, I know what I am doing, and you should not doubt me. Secondly, I will tell you that your blood is less appetizing to me.”

“Mistress Luna, Byron would like to see me.”

“Good, the spell is working. Congratulations, my dear. I must go and report to Mistress Brie that you are safe to walk among us without worry.”

“Thank you, mistress.”

“You are most welcome.”

They left Regan’s room, and went separate ways. Regan stopped at Byron’s door, and politely knocked.

“Come.”

Regan opened the door, and peeked in. Byron had put his clothes back on and was sitting on his bed waiting for her.

“How did it go?”

“You have to ask? I felt you calling my name four doors away.”

“It is a strange feeling. It is as though I can see what you are doing even when you are not with me.”

“It is the same for me.”

Byron smiled coyly. “I suppose we can never be apart ever again.”

“I suppose not.”


After Tabitha and Brie noticed that Byron was spending most of his time with Regan, Brie walked up behind her son, and pulled Byron’s long ponytail. “Come up for air sometime, son.”

Byron was on the border of intoxication. “Mother, do you have to pull my hair like that?”

Brie got a kick out of teasing her son. “Yes son, yes I do. You have many guests here to wish you a happy birthday, and you cannot seem to get away from Regan.”

Regan looked at Brie. “Forgive me, mistress. It is my fault. I will stop holding so much of Byron’s attention.”

“Regan, you are not totally at fault. Byron knows of his obligations. He knows that he cannot spend all of his time with you.”

“Mother, leave me be. I will socialize with my guests later. Right now I am trying to establish something.”

“What would that be, my son?”

“Legacy.”

Brie shook her head. “Son, you, and your girlfriend are drunk on each other. The only thing you want to establish right now is intimacy. Once you have interacted with all of your guests and opened your presents, you and Regan can do what you want. For now, you will do what you are supposed to do. I suggest that you have a conversation with your great-grandfather before you are too intoxicated to talk. He cares about you, you know.”

“Yes, Mother.”

Byron gave Regan a kiss on the cheek, and headed across the room to speak with Darth as his mother suggested.

“Regan, tonight I am making a point to speak with the women in my son’s lives. I have spoken with Tabitha and she tells me she loves Kristopher very much. I already knew this, but I wanted her to tell me from her own mouth. Now, it is your turn. The blood magic between the two of you connects you to us like no other. This is why you still live. There has not been a human living amongst us the way you do in one hundred and twenty plus years.”

“I am aware, mistress.”

“Since Byron is only one quarter vampire, there is a chance that your children will be full-blooded human. This will be dangerous for them.”

“I am connected to Byron, and he to me. My children will not be in any danger.”

“Even if one of us decides to have an evening meal?” Brie asked.

“Byron has told me of this possibility. We will relocate if this is the case.”

“Where?”

“Byron told me that I am not to disclose this.”

“So, Master Alec and I will be deprived of our grandchildren?”

“If our children are going to be in danger, then yes. I love Byron more than life itself. If he says that this will be for the good of our family… well… then it is.”

“Regan, I realize that you love Byron, but his word is not always right. I would like you to have a conversation with Master Alec. He feels a strong connection to his human mother, where my connection to my mother is not so strong.” Brie raised her eyebrows and continued. “I only remember that my mother smelled of flowers. Alec has no memory of his mother at all, but he holds her most high. Promise me that if you have not already, you will talk to him about this.”

“I will, my lady.”

“Good. Now that this party is back under control, I will leave you. Have a good time, Regan. Try not to be a victim.”

“I will be fine mistress, do not worry about me.” Regan lowered her eyes, and moved to follow Byron.

Brie watched her as she joined Byron. That’s it my dear. Stick close to him, she thought.

Brie looked around the large room to find her third son. Lucas was standing with his friends and the woman he loved. Her name was Ender.

Ender was half human, and horribly attracted to the smartest of the Thorn brothers.

Lucas and Ender stood arm in arm, smiling, laughing, and drinking wine. The two of them and their circle of friends found amusement in the fight between Kristopher and Nikolai.

“See, I told you he would go crazy. Nik is a maniac,” Lucas said as he took a sip of his drink.

Everyone laughed. Brie overheard their conversation, and didn’t find his words so funny.

“Lucas, do not laugh at your brother.”

Lucas looked his mother in the face. “Mother, Nik is a conceited, pompous ass. I tried to warn him, but he did not listen. He got what he deserved. Granted, Kris is no prince in this either, but one day they will learn.”


Lucas Thorn. Smart, and blessed with a love for books. As he got older, he didn’t think he belonged to the Clan of Farmers, but the Clan of the Learned.

He kept this a secret. His bloodline suggested that he be a farmer, but he knew better. In order for him to escape hard labor and become who he desired to be, he had to find someone within the Clan of the Learned that would accept him as one of their own.

Until then, he had to find something to do. As he was growing up, he would purposely pit his two older brothers against each other. Were they smart enough to see what he was doing? Time would tell.

Nikolai was always hung up on his vanity, while Kristopher’s mind was always on his battle skills. Neither one of them had any idea there was an outside antagonist behind their constant fighting.

This was Lucas’ form of fun. He kept the two of them at each other’s throats by doing small things. Nikolai had a small hand mirror in his room. Lucas would sneak into his room, take the mirror, and put it in Kristopher’s room. This would start an argument between the two of them, and Lucas would sit back and laugh.

Kristopher kept a fighting staff in the training room. Lucas would move the staff so that he couldn’t find it. Kristopher would blame Nikolai, and Lucas again would laugh.

When Lucas was in his third year of high school, something unexpected happened. He was in the library where he spent the majority of his time. He was reading a book when the most beautiful girl he had ever seen crossed his path. The only reason he noticed her was that she walked past him with her nose stuck in a book. This is something that was attractive to him.

He held his book in his hand and watched her every move. This girl never took her eyes off what she was reading and sat down two tables away from him.

Lucas found he could no longer concentrate on his own book. He had to know what it was that kept her so captivated.

He closed his book, left it on the table, and walked in her direction. He expected her to look up when she felt him coming, but she did not.

Lucas sat down at her table and waited for her to acknowledge him. She just kept reading. Lucas was frustrated that he had to open the conversation.

“Excuse me. I could not help but notice the book you are reading, has you captivated. What is it?”

The girl never looked up from her book. Her name was Ender Sharpe. Ender was short with an athletic build. Her wide turquoise eyes complimented her thick, straight beige hair and tan skin.

“Excuse me?” She asked, irritated at the interruption.

“What are you reading?”

“It is by a new author. She is brilliant,” Ender said.

“Really? What is the story about?”

“It is a love story.”

Lucas shook his head. “I prefer monsters. Love stories are not my thing.”

“Well, they are my thing. Master…what is your name?”

“Lucas Thorn.”

“Master Lucas if you will excuse me, I am at a most intriguing part of the book.”

“Certainly, mistress. I will not disturb you again.”

“Thank you.”

Ender went back to her book, knowing exactly who it was that approached her. Lucas was embarrassed that she pushed him aside. He tucked his tail between his legs, and went back to his table and his own book.

Five days later, he saw Ender in the garden, reading again. He decided he would try again.

“Mistress, excuse me for disturbing you. I did not get your name when we met the other day.”

Ender didn’t look up from her book, and answered him. “My name is Ender Sharpe, Master Lucas. Please forgive me. I am almost finished.”

“Certainly,” Lucas said as he moved away from the woman who had captured his attention.

Ender was doing a good job in baiting him. One more approach, she thought and I will give in.

Three days went by. Ender was in the cafeteria with her friends, eating and discussing literature. Lucas could not stand not knowing anything about her and boldly approached her table.

“Hello, mistress.”

“Master Lucas. How are you today?” Ender asked.

“I am fine. How is your lunch?”

“It is lunch.”

“And your book? Have you finished?”

“I thought you told me love stories were not your thing.”

“Your deep interest in this book has me curious. Have you finished?”

“I have.”

“How did it end?”

“It was spectacular. I loved it.”

“Would you recommend this book?”

“I would. However, you have told me that it is something that you would not normally read.”

Lucas shrugged. “I suppose it isn’t. However, if I read this book and enjoy it has you have, will you go on a date with me?”

Ender and her friends giggled. Lucas did not care at that point. He was all about Ender.

“Master Lucas, if you enjoy the book, I will go on a date with you.”

Lucas smiled. “I will see you in three days, Mistress Ender.”

“Three days it is.”

Four days later, Lucas caught up with Ender in the cafeteria with her friends.

“Mistress, I have finished the book.”

“You said three days, Master Lucas.”

“I had to study for Mistress Kali’s history test, so I had no choice but to take an extra day.”

“The deal was three days, Master Lucas.”

Lucas smiled his winning smile. “Surely you can appreciate a man who knows coven history. Mistress, if you will join me, I would like to discuss the book.”

Ender, hooked, excused herself from the table. “Certainly.”

Lucas and Ender moved to an empty table, far away from her friends.

“Well?” Ender asked.

“I found the book engrossing. I was angry that when the opportunity arose, she did not tell him how she really felt about him.”

“She was very passionate about her family.”

“This is true. Hence, the reason she sought out her father’s advice about this particular man. I am glad that she did.”

Ender smirked, turned her head to the side. “You are glad?”

“She would have never been happy without her father’s approval.”

Ender looked at Lucas. “I have asked my father about you, Lucas. He told me that if I wanted to pursue you, then that is what I should do. You are great-grandson to the king, grandson to the second seat on the panel of elders, and son of our great liberator. I do not care about your lineage.”

“You knew who I was?”

“Of course I did. I have noticed you since we were very young. I know that you are an honor student and care deeply for our coven’s history. If I had not been the same as you, I would not have noticed.

“Your oldest brother is handsome and cares only for women. Your next oldest brother is skilled in martial arts, and cares only for that. You and I share a love for books. It is my opinion that you are in the wrong clan, Master Lucas.”

Lucas did not hear a word she said. Her beauty enamored him. “I am in the wrong clan?”

“Yes. You belong with the clan that enjoys what I enjoy. You will never be a farmer, Master Lucas. You will be an historian.”

Lucas was instantly in love. Ender was his ticket out. “How am I to do this?”

“Join with me.”

“Ender, we are too young to join.”

“Master Lucas, stay by my side and one day you will be one of the Clan of the Learned.”

“Ender Sharpe, I do believe you are coming on to me.”

Ender nodded. “Yes. Yes Master Lucas, I am. I have said nothing to you before because my father told me that if I were to have my wish, you would approach me. My mother said I was to wait until the third approach. It has taken some time, but we are destined to be together. If you disagree, you can walk away from me now and I promise I will forget all about you.”

Lucas was as happy as a man could be. He was about to get the girl.

“Mistress, I have had something in the works for several years.”

“And that is?”

“My brothers have eyes for the same woman. It is my goal for each of them to acknowledge my superior intellect. It has taken me several years to put into place my betrayal of them.”

“Lucas, you sound as if you want your brothers to fight.”

“That is exactly what I want to happen. Both of them are special among our people, and either of them could be king. Nik was born undead, and Kris is destined to be our coven’s next great warrior. Who cares about any of that? I will be king by sheer nature of my intelligence.” Lucas looked into Ender’s eyes. “Will you be my queen?”

Ender gazed back. “Only if you will leave the labor camp you are currently associated with. I am one of the Learned, and refuse to be joined with one who is of a lower clan.”

“Ender, that is not fair. Our clans are back to back. Yours being second, and mine third.”

“You do not belong in the Clan of Farmers. But I do see your place.”

Lucas knew where she was going, and asked, “Where do I belong, mistress?”

“My clan. The Clan of the Learned. I will be by your side if you can make up your mind.”

“Do I have to decide now?

“I will allow you to discuss this with your parents. If you choose to be with me, you will take my name and be one of us.”

“This has never been done. The woman always takes the name of the man.”

“This is the only way.”

“My father will not allow this.”

“Master Lucas, you have expressed your desire to be with me. You will ignore the wishes of your family if what you desire is to come true.”

Lucas, excited by Ender’s forwardness, said, “I will discuss it with my family. Since the two of us are being so forward, I would like to ask you something.”

“What is it?”

“Are you in love, mistress?”

“Master Lucas that is hardly-”

“Just answer the question. Are you in love?”

Ender looked away. “With whom?”

“Ender, look at me when I am talking to you. I asked if you are in love.”

Ender did as he asked. “Am I in love with you? Is that what you want to know?”

“As a matter of fact, it is.”

Ender gazed at Lucas seriously. “If I were not in love with you Master Lucas, do you think that I would have done all that I have done over the past few weeks? Of course, I am in love with you.”


“All of you are the same as you described, Lucas, but that does not matter. Nikolai loves Angeline,” Brie said.

“Mother, everyone in the coven knows that. But according to him, he is not ready for what she is ready for.”

“So… you will sit back, have a few drinks, and laugh at your brother’s expense?”

Lucas, the devious devil that he was, smiled. “Yes, Mother. I will.”

Brie rolled her eyes at Lucas and turned her attention to his woman. “Ender, you, and I are to have a chat. Please come with me.”

“Now?” Lucas asked.

Brie glared at her third son, “Yes, now.”

Lucas looked at Ender, removed his arm from around her waist, and said, “I will see you later.”

Ender looked back at her potential mate with longing eyes, and followed Brie.

Brie wasted no time in her inquisition. “You find my son handsome, yes?”

“All of your sons are handsome, my lady, but I only have eyes for Lucas.”

“Tell me why this is.”

“As you know, my lady, I come from the Learned Clan. Your family’s history is the most recent.”

“Master Alec freed us from evil. Is this the only reason that you pursue Lucas?”

“No, my lady. It is my desire that Lucas be one of my clan. He is very smart, and knows many things.”

“It is not possible for my son to be one of your clan. It is customary for the male’s mate to become one of his clan.”

“If we get our wish, we will be the first to break this custom.”

Brie wasn’t exactly happy with what Ender was saying, but she chose to speak with the women in her children’s lives and had no choice but to take it. “So, you wish to be with my son because his father freed the coven, and he is smart?”

“My lady, do not force me to say what is really on my mind.”

Brie sighed in disgust. “Ender, I am having this conversation so that you can say exactly what is on your mind.”

“He is a good lover.”

Brie smirked. “This is not news to me.”

Ender gasped, and said, “How did you know? Has he spoken of another?”

“No, Ender. You have a big mouth. If you want to keep Lucas for yourself, you will stop broadcasting how good he is in bed.”

“I am so sorry, my lady. I will keep quiet from now on.”

“The damage is done, so no need to keep quiet now. In the future, if there is something you do not want anyone to know, keep it to yourself. Do not tell your friends, do not tell your parents. Just keep it.

“I have been keeping secrets about our coven’s children for years. There are only two of us that know the identity of each child that is born on the farm. Your birth is one of the secrets that I hold.

“So unless you want some harlot in Lucas’ face all the time, keep your trap shut.”

“Forgive me, my lady. I am sorry.”

“I am finished with our conversation. You are welcome to rejoin Lucas, if you like. I am going to check on my other two sons.”

“Thank you, my lady,” Ender said, and made her way back to Lucas.

Brie went to the foyer to find Alec holding Kristopher, and Boris holding Nikolai. The fight between them was not over.

Brie looked at Nikolai and calmly said, “Nikolai, let it go.”

“I will not! He embarrassed me in front of everyone!” Nikolai yelled.”

“You attacked me first, Nik,” Kristopher quietly said.

“Stay away from Angeline!” Nikolai yelled.

Kristopher, not to be overshadowed, yelled back, “Why should I?”

Brie looked at Kristopher, and firmly said, “Kristopher Thorn, you are crossing the line.”

Kristopher looked at his mother with a son’s loving eyes. “Mother, he is sleeping with any woman that will have him. It is not fair that Angeline be treated this way.”

Brie asked, “Have you been with her?”

“No, Mother. I would not do that to Nik, or Tabitha.”

Brie looked at Nikolai. “I believe your brother is telling the truth. Boris, Alec, let them go.” The two men did as Brie asked. “Now I will hear nothing else about this between the two of you. Nikolai, I want you to apologize to your brother.”

“Why should I?”

Brie raised an eyebrow. “I could have Boris take you outside and show you why. Would you like that?”

Nikolai rolled his eyes, and quietly said, “Sorry.”

“Apology accepted.”

“Kristopher, after you clean up you may go back to the party. Stay away from Angeline.”

“Yes, Mother,” Kristopher said, as he walked toward his room.

“Alec, Boris, I want to speak with my son alone. Please go and enjoy yourselves.”

Both Alec and Boris kissed Brie on the cheek and went back into the ballroom. Brie watched them as they returned to the party. She then turned her attention to her oldest.

Brie suddenly raised her hand and surprised Nikolai with a slap to the face. “Do not ever embarrass me in front of our coven again,” Brie said sternly.

“Forgive me, Mother.”

Brie, huffed quietly but firmly. “If you do not want to be with Angeline, tell her so. That beautiful creature has caused enough trouble between you and Kristopher. Love her and be with her, or let her go. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“Now, you go do the same as your brother. Stay away from him.”

“No, I believe I will go to my room.”

“You do not wish to spend more time with Angeline?”

“No. My younger brother knocked me out in front of our coven, and I am embarrassed. I do not wish to show my face in front of our guests.”

“The king will be disappointed.”

“Mother, please. Great-grandfather is not here to spend time with me. This is Byron’s night.”

“As you wish. You will be missed.”

“Just keep Kris away from Angeline, and I will be happy. Goodnight.”

Nikolai walked away from his mother and went to his room. When he got there, he immediately went to a mirror to look at his reflection. He noticed that his nose was broken. “Damn him,” he said. Nikolai took the time to tape his nose so that it would heal properly and not ruin his perfect face. Just as he got the tape on his face, there was a knock at his door.

Nikolai went to the door, and opened it. To his surprise, Faith stood outside of his door with a huge smile on her face. Nikolai backed away and let her in. Once inside he asked, “What do you want?”

“I only wanted to be sure that you were okay.”

“Yes Faith, I am fine.”

“Good,” Faith said as she grabbed Nikolai’s crotch.

“Faith, I am not in the mood to be intimate with you tonight.”

“It is your woman. She has upset you. I will kill her.”

“No, you will not kill her, because if you are found out, you will be killed. The king does not tolerate malicious murder.”

“I will kill and die for you, Nikolai Thorn, as long as you continue to pleasure me. What the king does and does not tolerate matters not to me.”

Nikolai, impressed by her devotion to him, could not help himself. He scooped Faith in his arms, placed her on his bed, and took her. When they were finished, Faith stroked Nikolai’s cheek. “I will leave him for you. You are a better lover than he is.”

“No. You will keep things as they are. If my father were to find out that the two of us were together, not only would it complicate things, a whole host of other things would happen. I will stay with Angeline, and you will continue to be my father’s mistress. This way, both of us will stay alive.”

“I understand.”

“My mother does not suspect anything?” Nikolai asked.

“Nothing.”

“Good.”

“Nicky, tell me your feelings about your father.”

“He is my father, and I love him. As of this moment, I do not like him very well. But as long as we keep our secret, when he is found out, we will not be dragged into it.”

“Can I have some more?”

“No. I expect that Angeline will be here any moment. You must return to the party.”

“As you wish.”

“Oh yes, one more thing.”

“What is it?”

“I am no child. My name is Nikolai. Do not call me Nicky.”

Faith was a bit surprised at the request, but she complied. “As you wish, my lord.”

“Hurry and get dressed. Be sure you are not seen leaving.”

Faith said nothing else, and did as he said. Nikolai got up, remade his bed, picked up a book, and started reading.

Thirty minutes later, there was a quiet knock on his door. He was right, because he knew Angeline better than anyone else did. Since he already knew who it was, he simply said, “Come.”

The door opened, and it was indeed Angeline.

“Nikolai, forgive me.”

“For what, Angeline? You have done nothing.”

“I realize that, but appearances are everything. I made it look as if I was interested in Kristopher. That caused your anger.”

Nikolai walked up to Angeline, stroked her cheek, and said, “It is unfortunate that my brother cannot stay out of your face.”

“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Angeline asked.

Nikolai smirked and turned away from her. “Angeline, do you not see the tape on my face? Kristopher has broken my nose. Yes, it hurt. I am faster than he is, but he is the better fighter.”

Angeline walked closer to Nikolai, touched his shoulder, and said, “It is my fault. Please forgive me.”

Nikolai turned to face her. “Do you want him?”

“Of course not. Kristopher and I are only friends.”

“So why is it you are in his face whenever you and I disagree?” Nikolai asked.

“Nicky, do you not see? I only want you, but it seems as though you do not want me. I do this to get attention from you.”

“I told you not to call me that.”

Angeline turned away from him. “I have called you Nicky for years. All of a sudden you are no longer the man I love.”

Nikolai touched her on the shoulder, and she pulled away from him. Nikolai, hurt by her rejection, attempted to rectify his mistake. “Angeline, do not be hurt by my decision. Nicky sounds so juvenile. I am no longer a boy of thirteen years, but a man of twenty-six.”

“So, what do you want me to call you?”

“You may call me Nikolai, or Nik. Nicky no longer fits. My dear, I am sorry if this has hurt you.”

“All you had to do was tell me and I would have been fine with that. Instead, you chose to embarrass me in front of our coven.”

“My younger brother knocked me out in front of our coven. I am embarrassed as well. Regardless, Angeline, I love you. I have never loved anyone else. When I am king, you will be my queen.”

“You will stop sleeping with anyone who asks you to?”

Nikolai was surprised that she knew of his indiscretions. He looked at her. “You know?”

“Of course I know. You are special, and everyone always talks about you. Imagine my feelings when I first heard that you were unfaithful. I was angry. So angry, in fact, I considered leaving you.”

“What stopped you?”

“I have had the prize of the coven to call my own for years. There was no way that I was going to let you get away from me.

“I have been called many unspeakable names over the years. Whore, bitch, just to name a couple. The one that bothered me most was weak. I am not weak, Nikolai. I will eat the most common bitch for lunch, and most of them know that. I paid no attention to the name calling. I know that I love you, and you love me.”

“Forgive me, Angeline.”

“In order for me to keep you, what choice did I have? I have already forgiven you many times over, you just did not know about it. Over the years, I have come to realize that women will always throw themselves at you. You will have to learn self control.”

“I will leave all others alone.”

“Do not look into my face and lie to me, Nikolai. As long as you put me first above all of the others, I will stay with you. The first time I am put second, I will leave you.”

“You are a good woman, Angeline. However, I do have a problem with Kris.”

“Kris is not a problem as long as you do what you are supposed to do.”

Nikolai sighed, and said, “You can continue to call me Nicky. Just not in public.”

“I would like that.”

Nikolai took her face into his hands and initiated the kiss. She tilted her head towards his. Her lips brushing softly at first. Angeline relaxed into his hands, as he pulled her closer. Their lips mutually, and simultaneously parting, allowing their timid but eager tongues to search out the others. His kiss was the softest, sweetest kiss Angeline had ever experienced. Emotion swept over her, and Angeline knew she needed him. She needed him to be with her. Angeline wanted him in her arms; she wanted him in her body, completing her.

His kisses went down to her neck, soft little pecks, as his tongue would occasionally snake out to have a taste. Angeline could hardly stand it. Her fingers were pressing tightly into his back, her mouth agape, trying to breathe, trying to utter the words she knew he was waiting to hear. The words she would say if he would allow her to catch her breath.

Nikolai continued to give her hot, wet kisses from her neck to her mouth. Finally, he pulled back and looked at her. Nikolai was in a daze. He didn’t know whether to continue or run. He started to speak, but Angeline knew better than to let him do that.

Her finger quickly pursed his lips, and having since regained her breath, and her voice, Angeline spoke. “Nicky, take me.” She figured she would make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Nikolai looked in her eyes. “Angeline, I love you, and only you. I have loved you for years.”

“Show me.”

Nikolai grinned, and Angeline kissed him with a deep, passionate kiss that spoke all the feelings that had accumulated over the years. Angeline was content with this unspoken speech of love. He broke from the kiss. His eyes were so full of life, looking sweetly into hers, and he spoke. He spoke so softly, Angeline could barely hear his whisper. Nevertheless, Angeline knew what he said. His lips were unmistakable, “Please forgive me.” Simple, and perfect. Then he kissed her again.

Her body was at such a level of arousal that any touch caused intense pleasure. Her moans were growing louder and deeper with each kiss, each caress. Angeline repeatedly told him how much she needed him, how much she wanted him. They eventually found their way onto the floor, just in front of the fire that constantly burned in Nikolai’s room.

Time seemed to stand still. They made love for what seemed like hours. When they were finished, Nikolai said, “Angeline, I do love you. Please forgive my indiscretions.”

“Nik, I have only loved you all of my life. Do not ever put me second, and all will be forgiven.”

Nikolai kissed her on the neck, and then whispered, “You are number one.”

“My father warned me of you years ago. If I do not remain number one, there will be hell to pay. Remember what we have gone through to get to this point.”

Nikolai stroked her cheek. “I will never forget, beloved. Do you wish to return to the party?”

“Are you trying to get rid of me?” Angeline asked.

“No. I just want to know what it is you desire.”

“Do you wish to return to the party?”

“I do not for several reasons. My embarrassment, my face, and I have you to myself.”

“I will stay here with you, my love.”

“I really do love you.”

“And I you. If you continue to love me the way you say, one day we will rule the coven.”

The two of them remained in Nikolai’s room for the duration of the party.

In the meantime, Byron’s birthday party continued. Byron was engaged in a conversation with Queen Ulsa, his great-grandmother, and both Bertrand Bloodworth, third on the panel of elders, and his mate, Jayde Rivera. Ulsa was intrigued by Regan’s ability to stay calm in a room of vampires.

Ulsa looked at her grandson with her beady, slanted amethyst eyes. “I am very proud of you, grandson. You have made it to your twenty-first birthday unharmed. However, I am concerned about your laziness. Your father has told me that you have not outgrown it.”

“Grandmother, I am no longer the lazy boy I once was. I will admit I would rather be doing other things when there is work to be done, but I still do the work.”

“If you are to one day be a leader, you cannot continue to think in this manner. A clan leader is very busy. If you desire to sit on the throne, your duties will only increase. How will you deal with that?”

“It is simple, Grandmother. I have no desire to be a leader of anyone or anything. At this point, I simply live to protect, and love my Regan.”

“I am very surprised to hear you say that. What if something happens to your family and you are the only one left to take the throne?”

“Perhaps you will lead the coven, Grandmother,” Byron said sarcastically.

“I am included in your family, am I not?”

“Well then, I will do as my father once did. I will name another to succeed me. I have no desire for the throne as my brothers do. I want to remain the man that I am today for the rest of my life, join with the woman I love and raise a family.”

Ulsa smiled, and nodded her head. “Of all of your brothers, you are most like your parents. If you want to live a peaceful, simple life, there is nothing wrong with that. But you are going to miss out on what our family holds most dear.”

“What would that be, Grandmother?”

“Greatness.”

Bertrand then felt the need to interrupt before Byron could answer. “Excuse me, my queen. I do not believe that for one to be great they have to be royalty.”

“Why do you feel this way, Master Bertrand?”

“My brother, Master Boris, has always been a great man. I realize he is a great leader, but there are other things about him that make him this way.”

“Explain.”

“A long time ago, before he was the leader of the Clan of the Night, he was a very compassionate and loving man. He gave respect to his elders at all times and was very respectful to the one that he loved. Boris was a great man long before he was a clan leader. It is these very attributes that make him the great leader that he is today, and not the other way around.”

“Perhaps you are right. I had not thought of this before. Mistress Regan, you have been very quiet listening to all of this. What are your thoughts?”

“My queen, I happen to agree with Master Bertrand. Byron may have lazy thoughts, but he takes good care of all of us, including the children who are born here. He is also a compassionate and loving man. He will do well in whatever he chooses to do.”

“He is my great-grandson, child. Just by the nature of who he is, he has no choice but to be great.”

“You are the queen, and yes, Byron is your grandson. But, I believe that he is fine the way he is. I rather like the fact that I have access to him anytime that I feel like I need to be close to him.”

“However unlikely it may be, you do not have the desire to one day be queen?”

“No, my lady. I like my life fine the way it is. Ambition is not a part of who I am.”

Ulsa was obviously offended. “What is wrong with being Queen?”

Jayde then thought that she would speak up and defend the poor human girl that stood before her. “My lady, she has not yet been turned. I believe her when she says that ambition is not a part of her. Most of us think of power, and what it can do for us, but we are vampire. Human women think differently than we do. If and when Regan is one of us, there is a possibility her thoughts will change, but I doubt it. She is in love with Byron, and that is all that matters to her now.”

“I agree. I do not think it wise that you disturb her thought process for now. Let her be in love and live the simple life. If it is good enough for her family, it should be good enough for you,” Bertrand said.

“Bertrand Bloodworth, you know better than to speak to me in this manner.”

“My queen, we are not within the walls of the Castle of Kings, and what we speak of is not coven business. We are at a party enjoying ourselves far away from home. I can speak freely, without reservation.”

Ulsa turned her attention to Byron and rudely said, “Grandson, I do not care what your feelings are at this point. One day you may be king, so you had better be ready for it. I suggest that if this happens, you get rid of the meek girl you are in love with and find a woman who puts the coven before you. If you do not, the coven will be at risk.” Ulsa walked away, angry with Bertrand.

The four of them watched as Ulsa rejoined Darth, who was talking to Boris, Isabella, and Brie. Bertrand looked at Regan, and said, “Do not worry, child. Her bark is worse than her bite.”

“Thank you both for defending me.”

Jayde looked at Regan, and said, “Mistress, we know who you are, but have not been formally introduced. I am Jayde Rivera.”

“It is nice to meet you, my lady. I have heard a lot about you.”

“Mistress Regan, I am Master Bertrand Bloodworth, third on the panel of elders, mate to Jayde, and younger brother of your clan leader. To answer your question, we defended you because unless you already know that the queen is a bully, she will take full advantage of her position. However, she is harmless. She knows that without Master Darth, she has no real authority, so she pushes her weight around whenever she can. If it had been Master Darth addressing you, you would have cause to worry.”

Byron was slightly offended. “Master Bertrand, be careful of how you speak of my great grandmother.”

“Pardon me, Master Byron, I meant no offense. If anyone knows how she is, it is you. Why did you not warn this lovely creature about your grandmother?”

“I did not think her true colors would surface in such a large gathering. She is the queen, after all. She usually behaves herself when she is among so many.”

“Of all your brothers, she is most fond of you. I think that is why she attacked poor Regan. She only wants the best for you.”

“Grandmother does not know what is best for me. Only I do. Forgive me for snapping at you, my lord. You are correct. She is a bully.”

Bertrand was tired of talking about Ulsa and abruptly changed the subject.

“Byron, where is your father? I have not had the chance to talk to him tonight.”

“I have not seen him since Nikolai decided he wanted to act like an ass.”

“I am going to look for him. Jayde, will you join me?”

“Certainly, my love.”

“Byron, we look forward to talking to you and Regan in the future, but it is a party, and we must mingle. We will speak with you later.”

“I look forward to it.”

Bertrand and Jayde left Byron and Regan to themselves. Because of the blood magic between them, Byron felt Regan’s discomfort.

“I am sorry, beloved. Master Bertrand is right. My grandmother is a bully, and it takes a certain person to deal with her. Most women in our coven choose not to because of her overbearing disposition. Please forgive that I allowed you to be the subject of her attention.”

“I can take care of myself.”

“Beloved, my grandmother can be a very vicious woman. Admit it, she scared you.”

“I was not afraid, a little nervous, but not afraid.”

Byron smiled at Regan, gave her a chaste kiss on the lips. “Forget about her. Today is my twenty-first birthday. I am going to share my life with you and no other. You are here to celebrate with me. Nothing else matters, right?”

Regan returned his smile. “Right.”

“Now where were we before my mother interrupted us?”

“I do believe you had your tongue most of the way down my throat.”

“Oh yes, I remember now.” Byron took Regan’s face in his hands, and began to kiss her. He made sure that in this kiss, he reminded her of how much he really loved her, and even though she was human, she was perfectly safe in his arms.

While Bertrand and Jayde were looking for Alec, he was nowhere to be found. In all of the commotion, he thought that it was the perfect opportunity to spend a few minutes with his mistress, Faith Valentine.

Faith was a made vampire with striking green eyes, prominent cheekbones, and straight black hair. She worked in the nursery on Emma’s shift and reminded Alec in many ways of his beloved Brie.

Alec was not aware of the real reason he strayed, he just knew that now that he was in two very different relationships, he didn’t want to give up either.

Perhaps he strayed because when the boys were young, Brie put the boys above him. Alec could handle this with Nikolai because he was such a handful, and he shared blood between the both of them. When the other three came, Brie paid more attention to her children than to her mate. Alec became jealous. He was used to having Brie all to himself, and could violate her at will. The boys changed that.

When Alec desired to be intimate with Brie and she told him no, at first it was fine. Over the years, she said no more than she said yes, so he sought another to satisfy his sexual desires. Who would satisfy him more than the woman who reminded him most of his own mate?

It was one night shortly after Byron was born that Alec had reached his limit. One day he broke down and was intimate with Faith. Alec had never been with anyone else but Brie. Since Brie was half human, he was always very careful not to push her past her limits when they were intimate. Once he was with Faith, he could not seem to get enough of her. She was a made vampire. She felt pain, and it didn’t bother her. This is what Alec loved about her.

Alec snuck away from the party to find Faith. She disappeared from the ballroom. His first thought was to go to the nursery. Faith was a lot like Brie when it came to children. He thought she might have gone to check on them.

Emma was once again sitting in for Brie as night nanny. Alec entered the nursery. “Why are you not at the party?”

“Remus and I thought that someone should take care of the ten children we have here in the nursery, and let the night walking staff enjoy the party.”

Alec was curious. “Your day walking staff is not allowed to enjoy the party?”

“There will be work to do in the morning. Since I am up tonight, Faith will be in charge of the nursery when she wakes so that I may rest.”

Alec found that very peculiar since he saw Faith at the party. “I see. So if I wished to have a word with Mistress Faith, I would find her in her chamber?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Thank you, Emma,” Alec said as he headed for the door.

“Master, it is not my business, but I do not wish my staff to be disturbed during their rest. What do you want with her?”

Alec couldn’t believe her question. He turned and replied, “You are correct Emma. It is not your business.”

Alec continued to Faith’s chamber door. He didn’t bother knocking. Faith was in the mirror, fixing her hair. She was startled when Alec entered.

“Alec, what are you doing here?”

Alec walked over to her, and stroked her cheek. “I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you look tonight.”

“You should not be here. What if you were followed?”

“I will not be long. I have wanted to kiss you all night.”

Faith smiled. “You look extremely handsome as well. So, what are you waiting on? Kiss me.”

Alec gently grabbed her around the waist, and gave her a gentle, passionate kiss. Faith wrapped her arms around his neck, and returned his kiss with a little more passion. Alec knew that he shouldn’t lead her on, but he began to kiss her deeply. Before either of them knew it, they were tugging at each other’s clothing.

Alec remembered his guests, and now was not the time to be intimate. He abruptly broke their embrace.

“Faith, we cannot do this now.”

“Well, why did you come?”

“I have already told you why. Let us get back to the party.”

“Alec, before we go, I want to know something.”

“What is it?”

“Byron is no longer a child. You no longer have to worry about hurting your children if you leave their mother. I want to know when you are going to make me your mate.”

“Faith, that is not possible. We have discussed this several times.”

“Yes we have, and you have always told me that you could not because of the boys. What is your excuse now?”

“You do realize that I am a historical figure. Kali teaches her students how I managed to free the coven with the help of several highly placed clan leaders. She would waste no time writing in the history books that I cheated on my mate and left her for another woman. We can only be together the way we are now. Do not try to pressure me into something I am not willing to accept the consequences of.”

“What you are trying to tell me is that I am good enough for you to be intimate with, but not join with.”

Alec shook his head, and said, “No, that is not true. We just cannot be together at this moment.”

“I will not remain your mistress forever. Another has approached me. I have kept him at bay because of my feelings for you. Figure it out Alec, or I am leaving you.”

“Faith, you cannot leave me.”

“Why not? Why are you the only one that gets to have his cake, and eat it too?”

“I give you permission to be with this one that has approached you, if you promise that you will not leave me. Then you can also have your cake, and eat too.”

“In the end, if I choose him over you?”

“I will be very upset.”

“You will not try and sabotage my new relationship?”

“No, I will not.”

“Fine, we are agreed.”

Alec gave her a chaste kiss, and said, “Thank you, my dear. As long as the nursery is not busy, I will come and see you later this week.”

“Oh Alec, I am not sure about that.”

“I will let you tie me up. I know how much you enjoy that.”

Faith grinned from ear to ear. “Arms and legs?”

“Arms and legs. You can do what you will with me.”

“I will be waiting.”

“Good. Come now, kiss me once more, and get back to the party. I am certain I have been missed.”

“Fine. I will see you back in the ballroom.”

Around four in the morning, the carriages began to arrive so the guests could begin their trip back to the Castle of Kings. Darth and Ulsa were to lead the pack, followed by the remaining panel of elders and clan leaders.

The party was a hit. Byron and Regan were glad that it was over. They could now go back to being relaxed in their relationship. Nikolai was sad that Damon made Angeline go back to the castle with him.

“Master Damon, can Angeline stay for a few more days?” Nikolai asked.

“No. She is my choice to lead my house when I am gone, and she has her education to think of. She is already overdue from graduating university because I allowed her to spend some of her summers with you.”

“So what are a few more days?”

“I will tell you what a few more days means, Master Nikolai. A few more days means that I will have to wait that much longer for her to graduate. I will say this. I am happy that you have somewhat committed to her, yet this does not completely satisfy me.”

“What will satisfy you, Master Damon?”

“Join with her upon her graduation. If you do this, I will not meddle in your relationship with my daughter any longer.”

“I do not know if I am ready for that, my lord.”

“I expected you to say that. I have watched you grow up and change from the child you once were.”

Angeline looked at her father, and said, “Father, do not do this.”

Damon turned to his eldest daughter. “I can, and will do this. Perhaps this is what he needs.” Damon turned back to Nikolai, and continued, “You were once an innocent child, but no longer. You are unique, and I am afraid this has gone to your head. Nine years ago, you told me that you loved my daughter. I do not believe this. Why is it that almost monthly I hear of your latest conquest?

“I would understand if it was just one woman, but it is several. This does not make me happy. It seems as if you must love the rock and please the pebbles as well. Say that you will join with her upon her graduation right now, or this will be the last time that you will lay eyes upon her.”

“Master Damon, this is so sudden.”

“I thought I said nine years. It has been nine years, has it not?”

“It has, my lord.”

“Commit now or you will not see her again. That is a promise.”

Boris and his entire family were witnessing something that should have been very private. Nikolai was not Boris’ favorite person, but he had to stand up for him simply because he was a part of his clan.

“Master Damon, perhaps Nik needs some time to think.”

Damon was very serious and adamant about Angeline. “He has had nine years to think about his feelings towards my child. I realize they have gotten well past the age of adulthood, but she is twenty-six years old, and should have graduated by now. She should be out on her own, doing what she wants, but because she has not graduated, she is still living with her mother and I. I will not have him hold up her education any longer. I want his answer now, Master Boris.”

Nikolai closed his eyes and thought about all that he was going to have to give up. He decided that nothing was worth losing Angeline over, so he did what he had to do.

Nikolai opened his eyes. “You are correct, Master Damon. I have had plenty of time to decide if I want to make Angeline my mate. We had this very discussion tonight, in fact. I did not give her an answer because she did not force me to. She is aware of my indiscretions just as you are. I love her, Master Damon, and she knows this. She has told me of her feelings about my indiscretions, and I promised her that I would change.”

Damon was a rock. “Commit now or you will not see her again.”

Nikolai looked at Angeline, and said, “It seems that we have been overruled, my dear. You have told me that you will be first in my life, or you will leave me. I do not want you to leave me, so study hard. Upon your graduation, we will join.”

Angeline hugged Nikolai. “Thank you, Nik. I will make you very happy, I promise.”

“I believe that. Now get in the carriage so that you may leave. We have created a huge bottleneck, I am afraid.”

“I will see you soon.”

Damon was ready to leave. “Come Angeline, get into the carriage. I am very tired, and it is time for us to return home.”

“Yes, Father,” Angeline, said. She looked Nikolai in his eyes and said, “You have made me very happy today.”

Nikolai didn’t answer. He grabbed her by the waist, and gave her a very deep kiss to let her know that he really did love her. Damon was now angry because he was ready to leave.

“You are not joined yet. Come Angeline, let us go.”

“I will see you soon, my love,” Nikolai said.

Damon grabbed Angeline’s hand, helped her into the carriage, and said, “You will not see her until she graduates. That is my final word.”

“As you wish, my lord.”

Damon got into the carriage and closed the door. Nikolai watched the love of his life leave him, and wasn’t happy about it.

“Family, if you will excuse me. I do not wish to say goodbye to our other guests. I will be in my room.” Nikolai didn’t wait for anyone to say anything and went back into the castle.

When the carriage was far enough away, Angeline looked at her father, and said, “Thank you, father.”

“That was a very nasty trick you had me pull.”

“Both you and I wanted Nikolai to commit to me.”

“I realize this, but I would have rather not gotten involved.”

“Nikolai respects you, father. He listens to what you say. You are probably the only one whose words he takes to heart.”

“It is because of you that he listens to me.”

“I know. That is why I put together this little plan.”

“Why do you want to join with him so badly?”

“There are a few reasons. First, I love him, and have loved him over half of my life. Secondly, when I join with him, I will be with him all of the time, and he will not have time to make his way into other women’s beds. Lastly, I want to be queen. I could not be queen if not joined to him. You do realize that he is Master Darth’s choice to succeed him, do you not?”

“I know this child, but I still did not want to get involved. You are well past the age for me to be fighting your battles for you.”

“It is done, Father. You no longer have to fight for me.”

“How much time do we have to plan the joining?”

“Six months. I will graduate then.”

“I am glad. Then you can move into your own chamber. I no longer wish to listen when you and Nikolai are being intimate.”

Angeline smiled. “I promise, Father, I will be out of your hair before you know it.”

The next one to leave was Tabitha and her family. Kristopher’s relationship with Tabitha’s family was entirely different from Nikolai’s relationship with Angeline’s family. Ivan and Maxine Voss adored the man who held their daughter’s heart.

“Kris, you must come and visit as soon as you can. Master Xander will be as excited as we will be to have you in the castle once again,” Maxine said.

“I will come as soon as my duty will allow, mistress.”

“We are pleased that you and Tabitha are happy. We look forward to seeing you again,” Ivan said.

“My lord, I love your daughter very much. I cannot go very long without a visit. I promise I will see her within the next few weeks.”

Kristopher walked up to Tabitha, and gave her a deep, passionate kiss to let her and all who witnessed it know that he truly loved her.

Tabitha stroked his cheek. “I will see you soon, my love.”

“I will miss you, beloved. Until we see each other again.”

Tabitha got into the carriage before her parents. Ivan and Maxine said goodbye, joined their daughter, and left the Baby Farm.

The last to leave was Ender. She was ready for Lucas to be one with her clan. He had not yet spoken to his parents about his decision, and Ender made sure he knew she was tired of waiting.

“I will see you soon, my love,” Lucas said.

“Not if you do not take care of business. I love you very much Lucas, but we have a plan, and I am ready to execute. Handle this before I see you again.”

“I will, my love. See you soon?”

“We will see,” Ender said as she entered the carriage. Her parents said goodbye, and entered behind her. When her carriage left, Lucas had nothing to say. He walked away from his family and went to his room. Boris had the last words of the night.

“Well family, it is time that we rested. Congratulations, Byron. I am very proud of you. I am also happy that because of your birth, we were able to bring our leaders together in our home. I look forward to the next birthday. Whose is that, by the way?”

Isabella looked at Boris. “Your birthday is next, beloved.”

Boris smiled, and said, “Oh, yes. My birthday. What shall we do? Perhaps we will ask the king to raise the dead for us. That would be most spectacular. What do you think, Isabella?”

“Whatever you want, my dear.”

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