chapter 10

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For a moment, chaos erupted. Everyone was yelling. Soldiers swarmed around me. Still kneeling on the ground, I could only see legs. I heard the clash of weapons and the disgusting squelching sound of separating flesh.

"Order!" The Empress's voice boomed.

"Order! Fall back!"

The soldiers withdrew to the edges of the hall, leaving me, my four captors, Eron,

Ryan, Mellissa, Sarah, Alex and I in the middle of the ballroom.

"Ryan!" I shouted.

I moved to run to him but Eron pointed his blade between my eyes.

"Stay where you are or I will split the demon's skull," Eron said.

I got up and pulled the soldiers together, and then I kicked Eron in the stomach

"Olivia, are you all right?" Ryan asked.

"Yes," I said. "I'm so freaking happy to see you."

"Eron, is this the watcher?" The Empress asked.

"Yes, Your Highness."

"I thought you were to have disposed of him," she said.

Disposed? Did she know we were coming here?

"I sent a battalion after him."

"Yes, about that," Ryan said. "They're all dead."

The crowd murmured.

"Watcher," she said. "This is foolhardy. What do you hope to accomplish by storming into my court?"

"I'm here for Olivia," he answered.

"You're here for the demon? I see you've brought guest" She sounded baffled.

"Her name is Olivia."

"Why do you want her?" The Empress asked. Yes, why?

"Because, Your Highness," he said, "she is mine." I smiled. I am yours.

The Empress shook her head.

"No, watcher. She belongs to no one. She is the harbinger of doom. Do you not understand that? If she lives, she will kill everyone. She will kill you."

"With all due respect, your Highness, I have a difference of opinion," he said.

"This is heresy!" Eron roared.

"And you are willing to die for your beliefs?" the Empress asked.

"Yes, we are" Alex said.

She showed us the length of her throat and stared down her nose.

"Then it shall be so."

"Your Highness, I request the honor of fulfilling your wishes," Eron said.

She gave him a nod. Eron threw his scabbard across the floor. Ryan and Alex twirled their swords in their hands and glared at their opponent.

"Please be careful," I whispered.

"Do you know who made this weapon, Swordsmith?" Eron asked Alex. "Your father. How fitting that I will now use it to reunite the two of you." Swordsmith? I don't understand

Ryan moved in, his head lowered, his shoulders hunched. They circled each other, a bear against two wolves. Eron went on: "You should be pleased. You will also be joining your sisters. I still remember their cherubic faces and their little voices. They cried for your father when we burned them alive."

Alex attacked. Eron warded off the torrent of hits, meeting each strike with a sneer, his sword unyielding, like a steel rod rooted to the ground. Then Eron thrust his sword at him and Alex flipped forward, landing on the blunt edge of Eron's blade. Pushing away Eron's weapon, Ryan tried to cut off his head. But Eron was ready. He ducked and used his shoulder to knock Ryan back.

"I know all of your moves, watcher. They are exactly like your fathers'."

Eron swung at him and Ryan clamped the thick blade between his two swords. Then he head-butted Eron in the nose. I heard it crack. As stumbled back, Ryan swiped him across the face. Yes!

Eron shook his head. A line of blood leaked from his left nostril, and his chin bore a two-inch nick. He dabbed at his face with the back of his hand.

"That one I learned from my sister," Ryan hissed.

Snarling, Eron rushed him. They collided, their swords producing a flurry of sparks. With every hit I grew tenser until I was paralyzed. A black hole in my gut was pulling me inside out. Though Eron was stronger, Ryan and Alex were fast and unpredictable. They all launched themselves into the air and clashed ten feet off the ground. Eron landed on his feet but Alex and Ryan crashed down on their back, causing a web of cracks to appear in the marble beneath him.

"Go, get out of here" Alex whispered to me.

I grabbed Sarah and Mellissa followed, we sneaked out of the ball room. We went up the stairs, to the uncompleted section of the monarchy.

"Where did you find her?" I asked.

"I saw her in the prison cell section and she mentioned you being kidnapped."

"I love you, I love you, and I love you" I said, kissing her.

"Well you're welcome" Sarah said.

We walked up other stair and we saw Melanie, she hanging on a long metal and metal chains were tied around her neck. I got a plank from the ground and I put it in-between the two ends, then Mellissa went to release her. When Mellissa removed the chains, Melanie gasped loudly for air.

"The cup...they want the cup" she said. Cup? What cup?

"What?" I said.

Melanie fell.

"Come on let's get her out of here" Mellissa said.

We carried her to the ground. She gasped again.

"Mellissa help her" I said.

"I don't know what to do" she said. "Let's just go"

We carried her down the stairs were we met Ryan and Alex.

"How is she?" Alex asked.

"Not good" Mellissa said.

Before we knew it we were surrounded by vampires.


My gasp attracted Eron's attention. As Ryan walked forward and got out his sword, Eron reached for a strap around his thigh; he took out a silver stake, and with a spin he whipped it at me.

But I saw it coming. My eyes followed it and I snatched it out of the air.

I squeezed the metal stake and glanced at Ryan. He looked at me with relief. Then I saw the blur coming at him. There wasn't time to scream. Suddenly Eron plunged his sword through Ryan's chest. The force took him off his feet; his body curled over the blade and his swords fell from his hands. Ryan turned his head to look at me. Our eyes met. His lips moved but no sound came out.


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