Chapter 1

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On the open floor of the underground church, thirty girls formed six perfectly straight rows.

Hidden like the others in a gray cloak that touches the floor, I stand in my assigned position at the top right corner. We have been standing idle for around twenty minutes with nothing but the flickering light from the candle flames decorating the auditorium to look at.

And now, they have become restless.

"Do you think it's a noble this time?" the small girl a few feet away asks aloud. "Only a noble can afford so many of us at once!"

Squeals and giggles fill the room. Of course there would be excitement.

After all, nobles are at the top of the vampire caste system. Purebloods are the highest class, but there are so few of them that any of us could live a thousand years and still not meet one.

"Wouldn't it be lovely if he is a higher branch noble?" another excited one blurts out.

The noble class are separated into two categories—the higher branch and the lower branch—with a ratio 1:8. Higher branch generally has authority and commands the lower branch who in turn governs the middle class who oversee the bottom tiers of the pyramid.

More squeals and whispers lighten the tension in the dim room.

Some of these very girls may earn the favor of a noble. Some may even become his mistresses. At the thought, all the cloaked figures stand a little prouder.

They must be blindly optimistic because most, will surely become maids. But still, a maid to a noble is still better than the other options.

Everyone's ears perk up as the sound of the church doors opening echoed throughout the structure. We recognize the priest's heavy stamps making their way down to the altar that is another flight of stairs away from where we stood. The more competent girls didn't miss the other set of footsteps that tapped lightly, but steadily on each stair, almost as if they are just floating by.

"Remove your hoods," the vampire priest's voice bellow. He is obeyed.

Gasps replace nervousness as all eyes rest on the awaited guest. Though it is custom to keep our heads low and face forward, most of us couldn't resist the urge to take a few more glances as he follows the priest down the stairs to where we are waiting.

The guest looks physically in his mid to late twenties with long blonde hair, broad shoulders, and a slender waist. Though dressed in a white lace Renaissance shirt and standard black pants, nothing about him was humble.

Standing almost a head taller than the priest, he is as intimidating as he is beautiful. By the way he carries himself with his regal presence, there is no doubt he is a man of class, but his eyes give him away.

The solid gold color tinting his silver blue eyes represent his nobility. The extra gold ring tracing his irises are a distinct trait of the high nobles.

It appears the other girls have noticed as well since some of their heartbeats are slowing down while others freeze completely. An ordinary vampire's heart rate slows down when anger, nervousness, excitement, or like emotions are felt. It is not wise to stop the beating of the heart for too long. Doing that would trigger our thirst for blood. But even vampires can't help it in these situations.

With ease and inimitable grace, he walk-floats and stops in between the first two columns of girls standing to the left. From my angle, I catch a glimpse of the first girl in the farthest left corner.

Her honey blonde hair is tied in a regular three strand braid that ends around her waist. Big eyes, a sharp nose, and full lips position themselves elegantly on her sharp face. There is a reason she is placed in the front row. Her red lips curl slightly upward when the god-like creature turn to her first.

His lips curl up too into a small grin, exposing the unusual sharpness of his fangs. The girl blushes at the sight. Vampires don't often bear their fangs unless they are craving, showing dominancy, or attracting mates. But judging the situation, it would most likely be the latter. Like a peacock fanning its feathers, male vampires bring out their fangs as part of the courtship ritual to impress a mate.

"Halfling," he breathes out.

Halflings are part human part vampire. Though they are high maintenance as they require frequent blood intake in their diet, they are eye candy. Their beauty is on par with those of the high nobles and legendary Purebloods. They are popular playthings for the wealthy because only they can afford their intricate necessities.

But still, they are one caste below the vampire peasants.

"I don't need halflings," the high noble state with unmasked irritation as he sends a glare at two other dhampirs standing a few rows down.

The priest rushes over to the lord's side, almost tripping over his fancy purple robes.

"Forgive me Lord Dietrich," he bows as he signals the halflings to stand off to the side. "I assure you the rest are of better origins and better qualified to serve you," the lower vampire motions his hand at the rest of the batch. "I handpicked them myself and there are none born lower than to the middle class."

Lord Dietrich snakes around the remaining aisles, not speaking another word—that is, until he stops in front of me.

The high noble remains silent as he listens to my heart beat as evenly as his own. He analyzes how tall I stand, unlike most of the others who curl downwards in his presence. His stoic face hides his confusion at the enigma standing before him, not understanding why I display no signs of thirst or nervousness despite the bright red glow from my eyes. When he finally figures it out, he frowns at the priest before sparing me an unmerciful look of disgust.

His fangs are no longer, but his contemptuous tone stays as he rolls out one word.

"Disabled."

*****

8/16/17 A/N: Thanks so much for checking out my first story on Wattpad! 




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