Felix pulled me down the corridor, laughing as he went. We passed other vampires, who regarded us with perplexed looks, as if they could not work out the change in the young (well, technically old) prince. His fingers were entwined in mine, and though my mind screamed for me to pull away, I could not. 

His tie was loose and his shirt unbuttoned, that gorgeous dark hair I loved so much was hanging loose, he kept having to brush it off his face. "Come on, slayer!" he teased, "I thought you were supposed to be fast!" 

Taking the bait, I increased my pace, relishing the feeling of my pulse racing, my chest heaving as I breathed heavily from the effort, it was like my muscles were finally being allowed to stretch, the fibres opening and sending blood rushing through my legs, powering me on. 

Eventually we came to a grand room, then I realised with a gasp it was the ball room. A huge chandelier hung grandly in the middle of the room, the marble on the floor gleaming, everything was white and gold, with a mix of red splashed on the walls in an ornate fashion. 

I smiled, it was truly magnificent. The huge windows allowed moonlight to spill into the room, the large dome leaking more light in from the sky, the stars shimmering down in a celestial glow. Felix grinned like a wicked wolf, and I couldn't help but laugh. 

"This room is amazing!" I cried, twirling in a circle.

He raced across the room before I could blink, taking me in his arms in an intimate fashion. 

"You should see it when it's full of people" he murmured, his voice low and soft. 

I jumped at the sudden contact, my arms helplessly pressed against his chest. He looked down at me, his gaze dark and intense. 

"They dance, and spin, everyone moving as one to the music" he continued, taking my hand and putting a hand on my waist before starting to move around the world. Subconsciously in the back of mind I started counting; one-two-three, one-two-three. 

He spun me under his arm and brought me back into him, my chest flushed with his. The coolness of his hand in mine heightened the sensation and I couldn't help feeling aroused by this dark seducer.

And yet, as soon as it began, it was over. He let go of me, leaving me stunned and speechless in the middle of the room. Felix crossed the room and opened the huge doors leading onto the balcony. I followed him, admiring the gilded handles and rippling panes of glass. 

Running onto the balcony, I stopped, taking in deep lungfuls of air. It was so cool and crisp, blowing away all the heat radiating in me. The skirts of my dress blew around me and I raised my arms above my head, stretching out. 

I ran to the edge, jumping onto the stone wall and shouting for joy. It was exhilarating, the breeze dancing through my hair, the cool air leaving a trail of goosebumps on my skin. I felt free, I felt alive. The blood pumping through my veins, the short breaths I took reminding me as much.

It was over all too quickly as I was pulled off the wall. Felix looked furious, "What the hell, Beatrice? I brought you here to cheer you up, not so you could try and commit suicide again!"

I rolled my eyes, resting my hands on his forearms, "Felix, I was not going to jump, I was just trying to feel alive"

"What?" he said, "Are you insane? This is ludicrous!" 

"It isn't!" I protested, "here, take my hand!"

He complied as I mounted the wall, his face lined with concentration. "Relax!" 

He frowned but I began to walk along the narrow ledge, the sheer drop and height causing adrenaline to course through me. "If I jumped, would you catch me?" I asked him.

His eyes darkened, "Beatrice don't you-"
"Think fast!" I yelled, letting go of his hand and leapt off the edge. 

The air rushed and whirled around me, I couldn't scream, the sound got stuck in my throat. I closed my eyes, I felt like I was flying, if only I wasn't hurtling towards the ground. 

Strong arms stopped my fall, Felix didn't not look happy, no, beyond that, he looked furious. "I knew you'd catch me" I said, smiling up at him, trying to relieve the tension. 

He didn't say anything. "You can put me down now" I pointed out. He didn't move, instead tightening his grip, "Felix" I said sharply. 

He dropped me, and I landed on my back, wheezing and winded. "Thanks" I choked, a smile flickered on his lips and he put his hand out. I waved it off and got up myself. 

After getting my breath back, I felt the sudden urge to run. "I propose a bet" 

"Pray tell" he said dryly.

"I bet that I can beat you to the maze"
He laughed, "You honestly think you can beat me?" he said.

"Yes, slayers are very fast"

"And what do I get if I win?" he challenged. 

I came up short, unable to offer anything. "I want a taste of your blood" he told me.

"You've already had it" I said.

"But it's so sweet, you have no idea how tempting-" he began, before stopping himself, "do we have a deal?"
"What do I get?" I asked him.

"I don't know, what do you want?"

"Freedom" I whispered. He shook his head sadly, the mood becoming darker and more serious. 

"You know I can't grant that" he said, but suddenly came up with an idea, "how about I let you out during day time? It's safe then and there are still guards on duty, you won't escape"

I sighed, but my spirit brightened at the prospect of some freedom. "No vampire speed" I told him. 

He gave me a bemused expression, "agreed" 

"One-two-three!" I yelled, shooting forward like canon fire. The ground became a blur beneath my feet, but alas my dress caught around me and caused me to fall behind. Felix shot ahead of me, and reached the end seconds ahead of me. 

"You cheated!" I said, making him laugh.

"How?" he said between laughs. 

"Vampire speed! And I had a dress on! That makes it ten times harder" I complained.

"I didn't think you'd be a sore loser, and besides" he said slyly, "even with a dress on I would have still beaten you"

I swatted his arm and he continued to laugh at me. "My payment please" he said, reaching for me.

Suddenly, I was nervous. My eyes darted back and forth like a cornered animal, and I felt the urge to run, as far away as I could. "We had a deal" he reminded me. Sighing in defeat, I slipped onto the stone bench, rolling back the collar of the dress to reveal my neck. I closed my eyes, my face screwed up as I waited for the sickening pain.

He sat beside me, "Open your eyes, Beatrice"

They fluttered open and I saw the red in his eyes draining, leaving the dazzling emerald. "Do you dispise me that much?" 

I didn't know how to answer, slowly, I came up with one in my mind, saying, "I sometimes...forget"

"Forget what?"

"That you aren't human, it's hard, you...I don't know, but inside you somewhere is something human, and that is all I see, that spark of goodness, and it makes me forget about all the other aspects"

His gaze intensified, and he caressed my cheek gently, I closed my eyes and against every objection my mind had, leant into the touch. "There is no good in me" he told me, "that was assured of a long time ago"
I opened my eyes and said, "how? Felix, I know your more than this, after tonight, I just know"

"You barely know me!" he snapped.

"I know enough" I said, "tell me"

"Do you know of my turning?" 

"Vaguely, the records are not very good" I told him.

Looking up at the moon, then back to me, he began, "During 1478, there was a great pandemic in Russia...."

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