Chaper 1 - Part 1

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Notes from the Author: Heyy everyone! I'm Jamie (aka masqued) and this is my first novel here on wattpad. It's actually my first written work in a very long time as I've been suffering severe writers block. Anyway, this is part one of the Prologue to my new project, "Blood Lust". I know it still needs some work but I was really excited out this story. I hope you enjoy reading and if you like what you've read so far, don't be afraid to comment! =] Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

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The rain poured out from the darkening sky as lightening flashed on the horizon. I shivered and pulled the hood of my tattered cloak closer to my face and forced my self to walk onward through the sea of weeds. I didn't have the slightest idea as to where I was going. I suppose my immediate plan was to find shelter from the storm. I knew the only thing out of town this far was the old Santoro mansion, and the townsfolk all say its been empty for years but it's government protected so trespassing is strictly forbidden. Another bolt of lightening broke the sky and I quickly made up my mind to go to the mansion. Even if I couldn't get inside, standing beneath the eves would be better than nothing.

I waded through the now swamp of a field and crossed the overgrown front yard. I slowed my steps as I approached the front door, but a crack of thunder added haste to my gait. Soon, I was under the roof's overhang, out of the draining sky. I inspected the door for some kind of latch to test but the gothic-style mansion had only a brass, lion's head door knocker. Something seemed wrong -ominous even- about the mansion. At first, I passed off the foreboding feeling on the dark sky and the clapping thunder. But as I waited there, next to the door, it struck me. The brass knocker was gleaming gold....polished. If the mansion was indeed empty as everyone said, then their must be a dedicated caretaker...someone who would pay attention to such details as a knocker that no one would use. No, there was no caretaker. There was someone in this mansion, I was sure of it. It was a feeling the reached into my very soul.

As I pondered this new conclusion, a shadow slowly appeared on the dark oak door, as though someone was approaching behind me. I gasped and quickly turned around to see who was there, but all I saw was an empty walk, and empty field, and rain. I felt my breath catch in my throat. Something was not right about this place, and I no longer cared about staying out of the storm. The only thing I wanted to do was leave. I gathered my drenched and muddy skirts and prepared to sprint back into the field. As I took a deep breath to prepare myself for a non stop run, I felt a hand on my shoulder, pulling me back. A shrill scream pierced through the sounds of the storm and I realized I,myself, had made the sound. I wheeled around, ready to defend myself if need be and found myself face to face with a young woman. She was of average size, slender, with black hair plaited and pulled around over her shoulder so that it hung from under her cloak. She seemed pleasantly safe and I let out a sigh of relief.

"I'm so sorry." I stammered, "You frightened me."

A smile spread across the woman's face, revealing a perfect set of pearly, white teeth. "Of course, of course. Anyone would be on edge in this sort of weather." she said, as though it was perfectly normal that I was wondering alone out in a storm. "Come, darling. You're soaked and you must be freezing. Come inside with me."

She turned and began walking towards the door but seemed to notice right away that I wasn't behind her. The woman glanced behind her, and said nothing, but something about the look in her eyes made me want to trust her. So I silently followed. One knock with the lion's head knocker and the door swung open. As I crossed the threshold I expected to see an elderly man in a starched suit that stood by the door, but no such butler was to be seen. The woman stopped just inside the door and turned to me.

"My name is Nadia Santoro, welcome to my humble abode." she said with a sweet smile.

"Liana" I replied simply. I thought this place was supposed to be empty....

Nadia removed my wet cloak from my shoulders and led me down the hall. It was carpeted with red and gold, and tall candle sticks mounted on the stone walls shed light until the end of the hall where it forked, probably leading to more rooms or some sort of living area. We passed a few shut doors, stopping at the only one in this hall without a candle next to it. Nadia pushed open the door, quickly ushering me inside.

"Undress and leave your wet clothes there on the floor. You should find something suitable to wear for the time in the armoire" my rescuer informed me, gesturing toward a cherry wardrobe on the far side of the room. "I'll have one of the servants take care of your dirty garmets for you. I'll be right outside the door." I nodded as Nadia shut the door, giving my privacy. As I took off my wet skirts and underclothes, I looked around the room. It seemed to be a spare bedroom. Because of the size of the mansion, I assumed it was one of many guestrooms in the house. The cherry wardrobe and a large bed where the only pieces of furture in the room, and the decor was rather modest. The walls were a dark red, accented with gold leaves. The carpet, a soft materal of the same red color, felt good on my sore bare feet.

I crossed the room and opened the wardrobe. A few modest dresses hung from hooks at the back of the wardrobe. Selecting a simple brown frock, I quickly dressed, smoothed my untaimed brown locks and exited the room to where Nadia was awaiting me.''

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