Prologue:

Two lovers stand on the cobblestone walk outside a large and stately home. The stars twinkle overhead and the night is surprisingly quiet. The woman has a soft, curvy body-- emphasized by the emerald green gown she's wearing. Her bright copper hair is pulled up into a loose bun on top of her head, a few stray strands curl around her cheeks. The man is tall, his clothing a fine black and gray suit. His white-blonde hair slicked back, curling around his ears. He reaches for her hand before speaking.

"Dearest, are you certain it has to
be done this way?" His voice is soft, worried and strained. She can hear his love and concern for her. "Must you really go alone?"

Morgan stares into her lover's bright blue eyes, reaching for his hand. Her fingers intertwine with his, the faint chill of his skin both a comfort and a dreadful reminder of what Edwin truly is. Six months ago, the beautiful blond artist had swept her off her feet, dragging her into a nighttime world of parties, beautiful art, beautiful people and passionate lovemaking... a world where she felt loved and wanted like she had never felt before. Even if those who dwelt in that world were "monsters" -- the accursed undead, vampires.

"Yes, I'm certain. " She says, looking towards the doorway of her home... her husband is there, waiting for her. Her heart pounds wildly in her ears and her chest is tight with fear. "I can't just disappear into the night, I have to confront him or I'll never be able to live with myself..."

Of course, if Edwin has his way, she won't be living at all. At first, the glitz and glamour of the vampire world drew her in like a moth to the flame: everything seemed so magical, everyone so elegant and graceful, but the more time she spent in it, the more she began to see the darkness behind that aristocratic veneer... and she began to wonder if she truly wanted to be a part of that world or if she would rather remain a visitor.

Edwin places his hands on her shoulders, frowning. "He might hurt you -- if anything happened to you, I couldn't live with myself."

Morgan sighs. "I will be fine. I've dealt with a hundred of Matthew's rages, one more will hardly be a challeng." She shakes her head and forces herself to smile. "And besides, I'll only be just inside -- if anything happens, you can be at my side in a mere instant."

She kisses him gently, more of a goodbye than anything. "Just wait here, my love. I'll be right back."

• • •

"You bitch!" His voice is a snarl, rage burning in his eyes as his fingers curl around her wrist. "Your dalliances with this artist have made me a laughingstock. It ends tonight, Morgan, do you hear me? You are my wife and you will behave as such!"

"NO!" Morgan wrenches her wrist free, backing away from her husband. She can taste blood on her tongue, her split lip burns and tears sting in her eyes but she knows she can't cry yet, she has to stay strong. She can do this, she has to do this.

"I've made you a laughingstock? How much of our money have you pissed away in brothels and gambling halls?" Morgan spits the words out like they're venom, poisoning her even as they fall from her lips. "You besmirched the sanctity of this union long before I did, Matthew."

He takes another step towards her, a growl rumbling in him throat. She feels his hands on her shoulders.

"I will not let you embarrass me any further, do you understand? End it."

"I would rather die." She snarls, rage bubbling up in her chest, burning up in her veins.

Matthew roughly shoves Morgan away, causing her to stumble backwards. A blood curdling scream and the sound of shattering glass pierce the night. Her world turns upside down, shards of glass tear at her flesh and her clothes... the ground rushes towards her and she makes impact head-first.

For an instant, there's a blinding pain that fills her body, burning her like cold fire; then a SNAP and there's nothing. Just numb, empty darkness.

She's sure she hears someone screaming, someone calling her name...they're so far away. She tries to reach out to them but nothing responds. She can't see, she can't breathe, she can't even think...

The taste of blood in her mouth breaks through the void -- sweet and coppery, electric as it drips onto her tongue...and then everything fades away.

• • •

"I'm sorry, darling...there was nothing that could be done."

He was gone. Morgan would never see him again -- never hear his voice, never feel his lips against hers... They had taken Edwin from her, leaving her alone to learn how to be what he had made her that fateful night.

"Why?!" She screams through her tears, the world tinted pink by the blood in them. The pain in her chest is unbearable. "What crime could he have possibly committed?"

The woman sighs, shaking her head. Her dark hair is bound into a bun at the nape of her neck, only emphasizing the bloodlessness of her complexion. "You were never supposed to be Made." She replies. "The Queen explicitly forbid your Making, Edwin was never supposed to create another of our kind after the last four he abandoned."

Morgan stares at her, unable to form words. Forbidden? Abandoned? Edwin had Made others? "I was dying -- I don't--"

"Yes dear, that is why Edwin was the one executed. You were blameless, a mere victim of his folly. "

Morgan sinks to the ground, her legs suddenly unable to support her weight. Her body feels like it's made of lead; her chest hollow. How could this be happening? How could things have gone so horrifically wrong? God, what had she done to deserve this?

"I'm sorry, Morgan." The woman sets a gentle hand on Morgan's shoulder.

"I'm never going to let this happen again." She mumbles. "I'm done with love. My husband murdered me, my lover was murdered because of me..." she shakes her head. "Never again. Never, never again."

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