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The eerie light of the candles in the candelabra spread across the large oak table, which was laden with food. Steam rose from the many plates that had been set out. Everything had to be perfect for the night ahead. There were only three places set to eat the lavish dinner that had been laid out.
A tall, blonde haired man sat at the head of the table with his pale hands pressed together in a steeple type of shape. His chin rested on the “point” of his fingers as his eyes scanned the room, green flashing in the light. The flickering candle flames cast shadows across his face, showing the chiseled features of his visage. Yet the stern expression remained as the pocket watch ticked away the time in his coat’s pocket.
A sudden creak of a door hinge caught his attention and he watched as a male of average height entered the room. With a curt nod he acknowledged the boy’s presence. His eyes scanned the others attire, another black suit with a burgundy-red tie. It matched the younger man’s dirty blonde hair, which hung in a messy fashion tonight.
“Adrianna will be coming soon. She’s been looking for that damn Flaft for hours now,” the boy’s voice was smooth and stone cold as the syllables rolled off of his tongue. He took the seat to the right of the older man, a position of honor in his eyes. He carefully unfolded the napkin before placing it into his lap, the red of the cloth offsetting the black of his suit. Without any change in expression the two sat in silence while they waited.
“Master Araet Big brother Adri is here now,” a high-pitched voice rang through both males’ ears. A girl with golden hair hanging down to her tail-bone entered the room with a large grin on her lips. Her long, white skirt and yellow flowing top swayed as she walked over to the chair on the left of the taller man.
“Adrianna, dear, how many times must I tell you? Do not yell during dinner,” the tall blonde said with a small smile even though his ears were still ringing. He watched her sit down next to him as he unfolded his hands. The girl’s only response was to giggle a bit before holding her small stuffed bunny close to her chest. His heart felt a small jolt of affection for his two companions at this sight. All of them together for another night’s meal.
There was a beauty in the silence that consumed the three as they ate. A sense of normalcy could be found in the awkward lack of noise. The girl, Adrianna, ate a bit clumsily, spilling food down the front of her shirt. Meanwhile, Derrick, the young man, ate with small bites and carefully dabbed his mouth when food collected there. Yes, everything was normal here tonight. The flames of the candle’s slow burning wicks cast shadows on the three figures. A soft breeze passed through an open window allowing the cool night air to enter the room.
“Araet, what made you join us tonight? You must have some reason behind it,” Derrick finally stated with a slightly arched brow. His mentor’s actions were beginning to confuse him. That ominous smirk, those piercing green eyes, his very presence seemed to hold a hidden meaning. But Derrick tried to push those thoughts from his mind as he waited for an answer to his question. His dark lavender eyes passed to glance at his sister, even she seemed interested in the answer that Araet would give.
“I was beginning to wonder when this would come up,” Araet mumbled with a small smirk playing at his lips. “I suppose you could say that I came here tonight to make a business offer to you both. You may even call it a gift if you choose to accept it. But, before I show you this gift, I need to know if you’ll accept it without seeing it first,” he continued after seeing that the twins were giving him their full attention. He could already see their individual answers etched on their faces. Adrianna, with her childish demeanor, would accept without any questions. But Derrick would question this, as he questioned everything else in life. Another devilish smirk twisted his lips as he thought about the two young ones before him. Both of the same seed yet so totally different.
“A gift? Master Araet has gotten Adri a gift?” The blonde girl questioned while looking over at the older man. Her curls fell into her face just a bit as she thought about what this gift could possibly be.
“Only if your brother agrees that you both may have it,” Araet stated in reply to the girl’s questions. His eyes passed over Derrick, almost as if he was searching through the boy’s soul. He could practically see the wheels turning in the younger male’s head. Derrick would be the hard one to sway.
“What type of gift could you possibly give us both to make us happy? Nothing that interests her would interest me,” Derrick grunted in obvious disdain. He had never enjoyed his sister’s games and pranks. Or at least, he did not anymore. He looked back at Adrianna to see her reaction. Her mouth hung open just a bit and he could see the tears collecting in her eyes. A small tug on his conscience told him to apologize, but he would not.
“Adri only wants for her big brother to play with her. He could bring Jarock with him for Flaft,” the girl’s voice was a soft mutter and was barely audible as the two men exchange glances. The stuffed bunnies, why did she always bring up those damn stuffed rabbits? Ever since her doctor had given them to the two twins Adrianna had been trying to get closer to her brother. Derrick, however, had no interest in that idea.
Araet was being awfully calm in this situation, Derrick noticed. It was strange to have him be this way. He was normally a very talkative individual when he joined them, but not tonight. His eyes seemed to hold the fire of the candles in them, burning holes into both of the twin’s souls.
“Fine. We’ll accept your little business offer,” Derrick finally stated after a few minutes of silence. He looked at Adrianna with slight annoyance shining in his violet eyes. He would do this for her, as he had always done things for her. Being the older twin gave him the obligation to protect his sister the way he saw fit. He watched Araet move back his chair to stand, but he did not move from his place at the head of the table.
The older male seemed to be dressed to impress for tonight. His gray suit and black tie made him seem even older than he normally appeared. His blonde hair had been pulled back into it’s normal ponytail, showing it’s natural black streaks. There was a black ribbon tied into the base of the ponytail to show a bit of flamboyance.
“Adrianna, I would like for you to go first. Please come over here,” Araet stated while motioning to the space before him. His eyes seemed to haze over as he watched the young girl stand from her seat. It did not take her long to come to him, stopping abruptly before his figure. With gentle hands he brushed the hair away from her neck and leaned her head to one side, exposing her slender neck to him. He opened his mouth to reveal tiny pointed canine teeth.
Derrick’s eyes widened in horror as his mentor’s teeth sunk into Adrianna’s neck. He wanted to move but he found he could not. His fear was keeping him from doing anything other than stare. His sister was being murdered right in front of him and he could do nothing to stop it.
“Big...brother,” Adrianna stated in a weak tone as the life was slowly sucked out of her. She felt herself beginning to pass out and leaned against Araet for support. Her body felt weak as she tried to fight against his strong arms. Her eyes began to blink closed as she felt death begin to overtake her. She welcomed the death as her mind began to leave her. She could feel her soul moving to leave her body as Araet gently moved to sit her into the chair he had vacated.
“Drink,” she heard her benefactor command as he pressed his wrist to her mouth. The blood that fell onto her lips tasted bitter as it slipped through to reach her tongue. But her body pressed her lips closer to the open wound on his skin, trying to grasp more of the coppery liquid. After just a minute she felt Araet rip is wrist away from her greedy mouth.
“Too much,” Araet growled as he looked down at his rapidly healing wrist. His eyes strayed from the girl before him to his protégée, Derrick. His irises had turned a strange mixture of green and blue. Now those exotic eyes were locked with Derricks own purple ones. Araet’s hand extended gracefully, motioning for the boy to come closer to himself.
“Adri...Adrianna? Is she...dead?” Derrick managed to stutter out as he drew deeper into his chair. His deep violet eyes gazed at his younger sister’s limp body. She seemed to be dead to him; much like cold, unmoving stone. But there was still color in her cheeks which showed some sign of life. His eyes glanced back at Araet as the older man shook his head.
“She’s not dead. Her body is merely getting used to it’s rebirth,” Araet stated in a cool, calm, collected tone. His lips twisted into a smile, revealing his sharp teeth to the boy once again. The normally white fangs had a tinge of pink to them as saliva mixed with blood. With a slow stretch his hand moved closer to the younger boy’s face. When he noticed Derrick did not move away he smiled wider.
Finally he moved to close the space between them, allowing his hand to brush against Derrick’s cheek. The warmth there made a shiver run up Araet’s spine. He carefully tilted the boy’s head to the side to expose the jugular vein to his teeth. As quick as a flash he sunk his fangs into the tender flesh and felt the sweet red fluid from inside of the vein flow into his mouth. He listened to the heartbeat of his protégée slow and almost stop before he pulled away. He used his fangs to slit his wrist once again and held it over Derrick’s pale lips. The younger boy leaned forward to suck the blood from the older male’s wrist, careful to take in every drop.
“Enough,” Araet growled as he jerked his arm back away from the younger male’s greedy mouth. His face was white from lack of blood and he knew he would have to feed soon. His eyes passed over Adrianna who now sat up straight in the chair. She was licking her lips and her eyes were trained on the blood still dripping from her brother’s neck. But with a small motion of his hand she fell back into the chair, knowing not to take the older twin now.
“Both of you...go to your rooms...now,” the eldest male stated as he turned to leave the room. His wrists had healed completely but his steps showed how weak he was. He was shaking slightly as he moved to the open window and his hands were deathly pale when he gripped the ledge of wood. He could feel the eyes on his back as he quickly jumped out of the window, disappearing from sight.
Adrianna rose from the chair and made to move towards her brother. But she stopped short when she noticed his eyes narrow dangerously at her. A small pout appeared on her lips before she turned to leave. She moved over to the door, opened it, and quickly slipped out into the hall.
“Damn him. What has he done?” Derrick mumbled to the silence as he looked around and took in all of the bright colors that he had never noticed before. “This is no gift...it’s a curse.”