There was mist all around me, I could not see. I felt blinded, surrounded. High hedges towered above me, neatly trimmed and full of thorns, I reached out, touching one and blood dripped from my finger. The index finger on my left hand. It bled heavily, blood marring the thin muslin dress I was wearing. A dark figure appeared at the end of the row. His face concealed, it was not a welcome sight, shoulder's back and head high he strode towards me.

I turned, running as fast as I could but the ground seemed to disappear beneath me and in a flash he was on me, pressing me into the hedge. The thorns scratched my back and tore my skin, blood falling quickly from the wounds. I stared into the cold, undead eyes of Lucas Martello.

The blond locks were pushed back from his face, crimson eyes glowing in delight. "Time to finish what I started" he growled, lifting my skirts and breaking my maidenhead as he sunk his fangs into my neck.

I screamed. The world spiraled around me and I fell like an angel from heaven, plummeting into my own living hell. The air left me lungs and I bolted upright, soaked in sweat and tears running down my face. I could almost feel the fangs sinking into my skin, tearing me apart.

Felix was beside me in an instant, cradling me to his chest and soothing me with sweet tones. "It's okay" he told me, "you're safe with me, Beatrice"

I couldn't believe him, not after what I'd seen, I pushed at his chest but he took my hands gently kissing them softly and making me shiver. I looked at my bandaged fingers, they were all there, except one. My little finger, a small stump prudding from where it should have stemmed on my left hand. "Could you not-"

"They couldn't" he said, "I'm so sorry"

"It doesn't matter" I sniffed, "it's only one finger"

"Beatrice I-"

"Don't say you're sorry" I snarled, "if you value your life don't tell me you're sorry"

He sighed and looked at me, I could imagine who insane I appeared, my curly hair dishevelled and tangled, my eyes wide and blood shot, lips peeled back into an angry snarl. I was a wild animal, a beast that could not be tamed and I saw apprehension behind those emerald eyes.

"What would you have me say then?"

I was taken aback, and then my lip trembled, I felt my very being ripping apart at the seams and was powerless to stop it. Tears poured down my face and I bent over, sobbing and weeping for no particular reason. Did you know there is a vein that flows here?

You don't need nails.

His sick words tortured me, demented me. I was unaware as Felix wrapped his arms around me, I didn't pull away, I no longer had the strength. He didn't apologise, he didn't say anything, he simply held me and that was what I needed. Stroking my hair, his lips touched my forehead and neck with feather like softness, brushing and caressing the sensitive skin.

When I had finished, I sat up and sniffed, he drew away and regarded me. I looked at my bandaged hands and darted off the bed, my legs almost buckling. He did nought to stop me, allowing me to sit by the dresser and examine my reflection. I ran my fingers along my jaw, tracing the outline of the faint scar across it, and flinching at the feel of the rough bandage on my skin.

My eyes were bloodshot and cheeks inflamed from crying, my lips were swollen and the colour of roses. "What's become of me?" I whispered, appalled at the person in the reflection. That person was not me, she was broken, she was weak. Everything I had never been. 

Felix sat on the bed, not speaking, adjusting his cravat now and again. I picked up the brush, flinching as my fingers cracked, I closed them around the ebony handle and ran it through my hair. Felix rose to his feet silently, walking behind me and resting his hands on my shoulders for a moment, before taking the brush from me. "What are you doing?"

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