“Please, take me as one of your own.” I knelt on one knee and bowed my head to the vampire in front of me, allowing my long black mane to sweep the floor. I could feel his stare as he looked down at me, and I gulped quietly. I knew how outlandish my story must have sounded: it was unbelievable to most who heard it. Carefully, I uncoiled my hand across my chest to feel my heartbeat. It was there, slower that any human heart would ever beat and a constant reminder that I could no longer be considered merely human.
“Raiven,” I looked up sharply as he addressed me. He had barely shifted on his couch, his blue eyes piercing into me. “I need to discuss this with my Alpha and Retainer.”
“Of course.” I bowed my head once more before standing, and then I left the room, closing the heavy door behind me. I let out a shaky sigh, running my hand through my kinky hair before pressing myself against the wall. It had been a long time since I had been in the presence of an Overseer, and even longer since I had asked one to be mine. My fists clenched in anger at the memory of my former Overseer, but I forced myself to slowly uncurl my fingers. I couldn’t compare everyone to him, and I needed the protection an Overseer could offer, lest they found me again.
“Please, just let him say yes.” I prayed softly, closing my eyes. Although praying at this point in my long life was no more than whispering words in the wind, I couldn’t seem to break the habit that had once ruled my human life. Had it not been for Mother, I never would’ve left that life and I would have died simply, free of the curse of my immortality and eternal loneliness.
“Damn you, Mater Vitae.” I whispered, anger over taking me yet again. Although she wasn’t my true mother, she was Mother to what I had become: a “dead necromancer”. Cursed with the same abilities and immortality as vampires, but thanks to my necromancy, still human and with almost none of their weaknesses, save the blood lust.
‘How long are you going to curse her?’ The locket under my blouse grew warm as my sister’s thoughts intruded onto mine and I absently grabbed the wooden artifact. It was a simple trinket, a tuareg cross that my sister had carved by hand after watching another carver in our tribe make one. It had been her pride and joy as we grew up, and now it was her home and prison. ‘Concentrate on what matters right now, getting this Overseer to let you stay.’
‘I know Sis-’
“Raiven.” I looked up to see the vampire’s Retainer peek out the door. I quickly dropped my hand from the locket and followed her back inside, taking my former place standing in front of them. She curled up beside her lover on the couch, flashing brown eyes at me before tossing her red hair and throwing her arms around him. I fought the desire to gag, his Alpha obviously sharing my sentiments. He moved as far as he dared from them, sitting on the opposite edge of the couch and refusing to look at them or me.
The Overseer vampire cleared his throat to return my attention to him and I quickly turned to meet his gaze. With his deep blue eyes and neatly managed black hair, he was beautiful for a man, but anyone who could wrestle their way to being an Overseer wasn’t my type. I jumped slightly when he spoke, casting my eyes down to the floor. “We have discussed your proposal and have reached our decision. First, however, my Alpha has a question for you.”
The shifter sighed heavily, but he did turn to me, causing me to gasp involuntarily. His eyes were chartreuse: a cat-like mix of green, yellow and brown and I knew that either he was incredibly old, far older than his appearance betrayed or had been abused by a previous Alpha. A flash of pain danced across his face, but it disappeared just as quickly.
“I apologize for the fright. Be calm, I am in control of my animal.” he smiled, but it was empty and devoid of any true meaning. It was heartbreaking to see: I could tell when that smile was pure, it could light up a room. “I wanted to know why us, why The Capital?”
“I came on the advice of a friend.” I answered. He muttered something about me avoiding the question, but the Overseer ignored him, stood, and stepped down in front of me. He stood over me for a moment, as if he was taking me in and I kept my gaze to the floor, not wanting to offend him.
“Do you know my name? Who I am?”
“No.” I answered truthfully, as embarrassing as it sounded. Here I was, asking him to allow me into his clan, and I didn’t know his name. If not for my friend’s advice, I probably wouldn’t have come here at all, but I was running out of time to find an Overseer on my own.
“My name is Lucius.” I stared at him, astonished. He couldn’t be that Lucius, not the one from her court, could he? He smiled at me, fangs appearing as he finished. “And I accept you into my clan. Welcome to Decver.”