The previous nights event haunted me. My eyes opened and my breath caught in my lungs, try as I might, I felt no longer safe. When I emerged from my room it was eleven o'clock. I had missed breakfast and Emma had gone out, so not knowing what to do, I took out the account on Felix Petrov, and sat and read in the library. 

I had never seen the man described in those pages until last night. For the first time I saw his brutality, his cruelty, his strength, and it scared me. 

Yes, for the first time in a long time, I was scared, terrified even of what I was being drawn into. I knew it was deeper than just gaining access to Rowhurst, than killing young slayers. It was only one part of a large plan, one I was desperately trying to work out. 

The butler, Mr Blade, came in with my letters. There was only one, lying neatly on the silver platter. "Thank you" I said, taking it and nodding for him to leave. Taking the letter opener, I tore the paper open and broke the seal. It was from Lydia. 

Dear Miss Everlyn,

I understand you encountered Mr Petrov last night, and I gather it did not end well. The only way you will get close to Felix is to gain his trust, and to do this will be no easy feat. 

In the mean time, I have another lead for you. Unfortunately I cannot be implicated in helping you in anyway, it is too dangerous. There is a small coven of vampires living in a brothel near the heath, it is known to many as 'Hell's Angels'. Perhaps they may be able to give you the answers you seek. 

Destroy this. 

L.M

I scribbled down the address and threw the letter into the fire, watching the way the paper crumpled and burnt as englufed by the flames, blackening the edges and making it glow. It was with a transfixed gaze I watched, and soon it was reduced to nothing but a pile of ash. My eyes drifted from the ash to the window, the tree in the garden was lying limp, the breeze did not shift the branches, only occasionally did it stir before returning to its stillness. The sky was over cast and dull, everything screamed of the meloncholy of the day. Who knew what the night would hold. 

***

As night fell, I left the house, knowing my first port of call; find vampires and see if they could lead me to Petrov. I was wearing black, knowing it would be less conspicuous. The collar was high and made of lace, it was supported by layers of underskirts. I left the house and called a cab, stepping into it and soothing myself listening to the sound of the hackney's hoof beats against the pavement. 

The trees fawned over the street and people wandered from place to place. I took the cab to the brothel. Stepping out on to the deserted street, I looked around, searching for danger. The area was clear when I crossed the street and entered the brothel. 

The inside looked worse than the crumbling outside, if that were possible. Suddenly I was grateful for the black gloves keeping my skin from touching the toxic surfaces. The place reeked of alcohol and cigars, with the faint odor of opium. Girls scantly clad in corsets wandered between groups of men and took their hands, taking them up rickety stairs. The floor boards were damp with decay, rotting away beneath my feet.

I looked around the crowd, they were all so consumed they had not noticed me. A lone figure, lurking in the dark. After a few minutes, I found them. I only needed one, and I needed to draw him out. They stuck out from the crowd slightly, their skin unusally pale, eyes flashing red as desire and blood lust pumped through them. 

Women surrounded them, some showing strange tatoos, others with clearly less than human characteristics. One man got up from the group. He was around twenty five, at least physically. Straight black hair covered his head, his eyes were burning red now. I reached out a hand and pulled him into the darkness, pressing the stake into his skin. "Move and you die" I murmured. He snarled and struggled, making me press it tighter till it pierced his flesh. 

He hissed in pain but came willingly after that. Outside I tied thick rope round his hands, it had been covered in holy water, and left burn marks on his skin. I pushed him and made him walk down to an abandoned building a mile away. 

Once inside I found a chair and tied him to it, doing the notes securily. "What do you want, slayer?" he spat.

I sat opposite, regarding him with cool detachement. "I take it you know of Felix Petrov?" I asked.

"What do you want from his highness" he said. 

I ignored his question, "do you know where he resides?" 

He laughed, "I would not tell you" 

In an instant I was close to him, my stake pressed against his chest again. "It would be wise to co-operate" 

He looked at it nervously before laughing, "I do not fear death"

I drew out my knife and let it trail across his skin, exerting just enough pressure to break the surface. Gasping, he looked furious, struggling against the restraints. "Funny thing about vampires" I said, circling him slowly, "you can break them as many times as you want, and they always fix themselves. Ideal really" 

His gaze followed me, and I asked again, "where is Felix Petrov?" 

"I don't know" he said. I slit his throat. 

Blood poured down his throat and after a minute it healed. "Don't lie, it would be unwise" I said.

"I was never a wise man" he said. 

"Evidently" I said dryly, reopening the wound, just like they showed us at Rowhurst. 

He snarled and his fangs broke the skin of his lip. "Tell me" I said softly, dangerously.

"I don't know!" 

Another cut. "Do not lie" I said. 

"I swear it! But I can tell you other things" he said. I stepped back. 

"Like what?" I asked. 

"I know where Lucas Martello is" he gasped. I ceased. Lucas Martello was ranked highly in vampiric hierarchy ,the right hand man to Felix and an extremely good lead. 

"Where?" 

"Free me" 

I laughed, "I am not that stupid, now tell me where Lucas Martello is"

"He is at lake Gosling" he said. 

"Thank you" I told him. Opening the doors and repositioning him next to the windows. 

"If you can get free, you can leave, but sunrise is in a few hours" I told him.

He screamed, pleaded and try as I might, I could not harden my heart. "Just kill me" he said at the finish, "If they know I revealed Sir Martello's location, they would kill me anyway"

Some compassionate part of me sympathised, and with lightening quickness, I staked him, watching the life drain from his eyes and his body turn to ash. 

I left the building, not looking back. My next mission, to find and capture Lucas Martello. I was coming for him, and I would not be stopped.

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