My head was pounding when I woke. I clutched my throbbing temples and groaned, my mouth was dry and my limbs aching. I sat up, it was very disorientating not having a window, I could never tell what time it was. The clock claimed it to be four o'clock, I was awake far too early by vampire standards, they would be slumbering till at least six. I got up and stripped myself of the sweat coated sheets, removing the night gown and leaving myself standing naked in the middle of the room. I found a jug of water still sat on the side and the iron tub still in the room. 

Standing in it, I poured the freezing water over my body, I shuddered as it ran down my hot skin, leaving goosebumps as the droplets trailed over me. When I got out, I scrubbed myself down with the towel ferociously, then tied my hair up in a loose bun, a few strands escaping my clutches. I wore a light blue dress, a bodice framing my curves and with sleeves that stopped at my elbow. I was grateful for the lack of underskirts, I could not be bothered with the hassle. 

After taking my time, the clock chimed that it was five, and I found this an acceptable time to find myself 'breakfast'. I wandered the halls, and found the evidence of last nights escapades everywhere. The walls were coated in spilled blood and priceless sculptures lay smashed on the floor. Bodies were strewn everywhere, some sleeping, some dead. 

I could hear the faint moans and cries, the curtains were all still drawn, so the house was completely dark. I stepped over the remnants carefully, making my way to the kitchen. Once in there, I found a large knife and cut myself a chunk of bread, buttering it lightly and lighting the stove, preparing to make myself tea. 

The kettle whistled on the hob as it boiled, and I put tea bags into a pot, I was surprised at all the food and such, but then remembered how the vampires often had 'guests'. Tonight was going to be another celebration I assumed, because servants were running around trying to clear up the minute the sun set, sweeping frantically and disposing of dead bodies. I wondered how many were buried within the grounds of Immortalis?

I was largely ignored by the vampires, some gave me questioning looks but my answering glare made them walk away, I grinned, most vampires were still scared of me. 

After finishing tea, I made my way upstairs, watching as the palace was returned to order, only to be redecorated with garland leaves and bottles of blood and wine placed at various points. 

"What are you doing?" asked a busy footman, his pale face was drawn from stress and his eyes were rimmed with black. "Excuse me?" I asked him.

"What are you doing? Out here? People will be arriving soon!"

"What people?" 

"The guests" he said.

"What's going on?" I demanded.

"It's tradition, it's the Party de Morte, takes place after the ball"

I shivered, who called a party, 'the party of death?'

"Is it another ball?" I asked, sounding genuinely curious.

"Beatrice!" snapped a voice from behind me. 

The footman's eyes widened and he shot down the corridor in the opposite direction. I turned to see Felix and smiled a little. Then cursed myself for smiling.

"Yes?"

"Go to your room" he instructed, "don't come out again tonight"

"What? Why the hell not?" I said.

He sighed, "just do it, it's too dangerous for you to be out of your room tonight"

"Why?" my eyes narrowed in suspicion. 

"Beatrice I swear I will-"

"Felix, darling!" cooed a voice from the bottom of the stairs. He sighed and my head snapped in that direction, it was a stunning blond, with a far more ample bosom and smaller waist than I, her eyes were green and her skin hauntingly pale. "Good evening, Emma" he said through gritted teeth.

"Who is this?" she said, her expression was one of a spoilt child and she glared at me.

"Beatrice Everlyn" he said.

"The slayer bitch!" she crowed, taking his arm, he stayed rigid.

"Lucas told me all about her in London" she said.

"Did you tell you I can kill vampires with my bare hands?" I said, titling my head to the side, a slight exaggeration but it got my point across.

"Felix! Tell the bitch to stop being so annoying! Maybe I can teach her" she growled stepping towards me. Felix gripped her arm tightly, "enough, join the others"

She moaned but turned and went to kiss him, he moved his head so she caught the side of his mouth, "I'll be waiting" 

"What the hell?" I half screeched.

"That was Emma Founders, she is a dutchess as far as vampires are concerned" he said.

"She looked like more than that to me" I spat, aware of how jealous I sounded.

"Believe what you want" he said coldly.

"What happened last night?" I called as he turned to leave.

He rushed towards me, pining me against the wall, his face inches from mine before I could blink. "You were an idiot!" he hissed, "you could have been killed!"

"I had a few glasses of wine" I dismissed.

"More than a few" he growled, "to the point you can't remember the evening"

That was not entirely true, I certainly remembered our dance.

"I give up" I told him, "i'm tired, I just want it to end"

"If you carry on it will be sooner than you think" he told me.

"Good" I spat, pushing him away and storming down the corridor. He shouted for me but I payed no heed, charging back to my room and slamming the door shut. Tears fell futilely down my cheeks, no one would be coming to comfort me tonight.

I could hear shrieks and laughter echoing through the house and after an hour or so on my own, I was bored. I could seek solace in the library, it would be quiet in there, safe. 

I slipped like a shadow along the corridors, unnoticed and undisturbed. I blocked out the sounds around me, not even daring to think what some of them were. I crept into the library, turning the handle lightly, I felt safer once in there and walked normally, picking up a candle as I passed, only to hear moans and gasps. 

Creeping around the corner, I saw Emma Founders with her back on the wall, her eyes closed and lips parted and a man pushed against her violently. Mahogany hair spilled down his shoulders and that powerful frame was one I knew well. I could not help the cry that lodged itself in my throat, particularly as she screamed "Felix!" in the throws of their wild abandon. 

Tears trickled down my face and I dropped the candle in surprise, the metal handle falling from my numbed fingers. They both turned and looked at me, Emma looked smug and Felix looked hurt and shocked.

Turning, I fled the room, no longer caring if anyone saw me, let them see I thought savagely. I pushed passed the streams of lovers, some calling for me to join them, too drunk to care about anything. Naked bodies lay all over the floor, moans and passionate cries surrounding me, this is an orgy. 

Human were there too, joining in, watching or being sucked dry by the treacherous leeches who dared to say they had feelings. If they could feel, it was only hate. That was all they knew. I scrambled up the steps and back towards my door when a person darted out in front of me. It was Lucas, "stand aside!" I yelled.

He smirked and grabbed my arm, pulling me into him, his eyes glittering with wicked intent. "You and I are going to have some fun" 

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