Chapter 10

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The castle was breathtaking. It's Gothic towers and white stones shone beautifully in the moonlight. It wasn't gigantic, but it was still a pretty big place. Arielle stood up and looked around. She noticed a large lake was surrounding the castle, reflecting the crescent moon in the water. The bare trees no longer looked so menacingly and swayed gently in the crisp breeze. Arielle's breath came out in small puffs as she stared mesmerized with the beauty of everything. It was a surprising (and thankful) change from that awful fog.

"I know," Selene said, standing next to Arielle.

Arielle looked up at Selene. The moon was so bright that Arielle could fully see her. Selene's dark skin glowing, her full lips curled into a pleased smile,her dreads blowing lightly from the wind. Practically knocked the breathe out of Arielle. She could see how Selene was the perfect assassin. Who would expect a killing machine to be in the from of a beautiful woman?

The vampire drew her eyes away from the castle and meet Arielle's. Gold meeting Black (or extremely dark brown if you wanted to be technical about it). They stared at each other. Just drinking the other person in. Arielle was dazzled by her ethereal beauty. With that thought, Arielle cleared her throat uncomfortably and looked away. She felt embarrassed and appalled because Arielle was started to think she was acting like Bella Swan. 'Always thinking about how beautiful the vampire was,' she thought disgruntled.

"We can't hold off the Council's meeting any longer," Selene said, in an almost regretful tone.

"You sure?" Arielle asked. "I mean, we could still make a run for it."

Selene rolled her eyes at her and held an arm out indicating for her to go first. Arielle sighed and started to walk. Well, she had tried. Together they walked across the bridge towards the castle. To Arielle's surprise, there were no guards standing at the entrance. Shouldn't there be? What if someone did get through? They could just walk right it and no one could stop it.

"Shouldn't there be guards or something?" Arielle wondered out loud.

"They're there."

"No there's--"

"Look closer," Selene advised.

Arielle squinted into the darkness. What was she talking about? There was no one there! Then, as if on queue, figures started to appear. Shaping themselves into three females and one male. They stood next to the impressive and equally beautiful wooden doors of the castle. They're sole focus was on Arielle. They pulled back their lips and barred their fangs threateningly at her. Arielle glared back. She refused to show any sign of fear, even when it was clear she was the antelope to their lion quartet.

Selene stepped forward and hissed warningly at the four vampires. All four pair of eyes widened, as if they just noticed Selene had been there the whole time. They all bowed their heads submissively as the two passed. Arielle raised her eyebrows, impressed by Selene's power over them. She wondered if all the vampires acted like that. Arielle wouldn't though. No reason to make Selene think she couldn't fight for herself.

Inside the castle was just as remarkable as the outside. Dark wooden floors and dark stones. It reminded Arielle of an old medieval castle. Beautiful iron work on the doors and lanterns lighting up the place. Arielle knew she had seen some windows when looking at the castle outside. Where were they? Did vampire actually burn in the sun?

Arielle turned towards Selene. "I thought I saw windows. Do vampires burn in the sun? Did I imagine that they were there?"

"No our bodies don't burn. A vampire is so photosensitive that it's extremely painful to be near sunlight. However as the vampire gets older, they grow more tolerate of it. There are windows in the kitchens, in the human living courtiers, and in the Worshipping Room."

"What's the Worshipping Room?"

Selene didn't answer Arielle's question. She lifted her chin slightly and seemed to grow three inches taller. Selene's eyes seem to glow even brighter if that was possible. Arielle jumped when two pair of hands grabbed each arm. She looked around to see two vampires with the hands firmly wrapped around her arms and another one behind her.

"Arielle Jana Johnson, it is time for your trail," Selene's voice rang out superiorly.

Arielle didn't fight them but grumbled whenever they jerked her too hard. She was mainly surprised that Selene knew her middle name. Arielle didn't remember telling her. Any further thoughts on that were squashed once they lead her through a smaller wooden door into a very creepy stone stairwell.

It was extremely steep and dimly lit. Arielle could hear the mumbling of voices traveling up the stairwell. Anxiety shot through her like she's been shot with a gun. Arielle hoped there wasn't that many people and she was hearing things.

She was wrong. They walked into a massive, massive court room. Masses of people stood along the walls and other sitting in the middle. Arielle gulped to see a large judges table filled with the oddest and most diverse group of people she's ever seen. Ever race, every gender, ever freaking age was at that table. 13 seats but only 11 filed. In the middle of all the chairs, there was a throne (no way it could have been considered a simple chair. Way to element).

It had a large brass colored frame with velvet blue cushions. Tiny flowers wrapped around the legs and arms of the chair leading up to the top of the chair where a full moon sat, made of opal. It hurt Arielle to think how much that must have cost to make. More than she'd make in three lifetimes at least.

Arielle watched as Selene took a seat in a white chair with golden swirls and waves on it (it reminded Arielle of her coffin that she saw in her vision) next to the throne. Unconsciously, she started to follow the vampire when the others yanked her back towards what looked like a giant circular brig cage. Arielle then started to fight against them. What the hell was that? Was it some kind of torture device? Selene promised she wouldn't be hurt!

Arielle struggled on in vain. Their iron like grips never loosened on her. They chained her hands together and locked in her the bird cage as easy as if she'd gone in their willingly. Arielle glanced fearfully up at Selene. What was this? Selene just held up her left palm and tilted her head slightly, telling her calm down. Arielle nodded but that didn't stop her from hyperventilating. She just couldn't seem to get enough air in and the room was getting hotter and hotter by the second.

As she had her mini panic attack she noticed some pompous looking asshole staring down at her from the judging table. Ironically, Arielle immediately thought of Lestat from Interview with the Vampire. Arielle wouldn't have been surprised if that dude was Lestat with how crazy her life has been lately.

He had snow white blonde hair tied back into a low pony tail. His skin was so pale that she could see his veins from where she was standing and his lips were almost as white as well. The man was wearing some sort of 17 century outfit, all with the ruffled shirt, a light blue overcoat and cream vest underneath. Arielle couldn't see past his waist but she bet he was wearing heels. The dude even had a wine glass filled with blood! The sight of him made her snigger. She couldn't help it. This vampire was so cliche Arielle didn't know if she wanted to laugh or throw up.

The vampire narrowed his gaze when he saw Arielle was laughing at him. Instead of getting angry (like Arielle thought he would), the man simply raised his glass to his lips and took a long sip. Then he gave Arielle the most disgusted, I'm-better-than-you-peasant look ever. Arielle glared up at Lestat and flipped him off. She smirked as his grey eyes widened (almost comically) in angry and slight disbelief.  Whatever his next move was cut off when everyone suddenly stopped talking and anyone who was siting down stood up.

Arielle turned to see what ever one was looking at. Through a door on the other side of the room she had enter came a very, very, very old Asian woman dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. Arielle watched as everyone bowed to her. She awkwardly bent her knees as much as the cage would let her, she felt the urge to bow down to this woman as well.

The old woman walked right up and sat down in the throne. She nodded and everyone stood back up or sat back down again. Arielle shifted as the woman focused her gaze of her and said,

"Let the trail begin."

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