Chapter 8

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9/8/17: Thx everyone who has kept this alive by commenting and voting!!! <3  Here's a slightly longer chapter (and the following would be of my preferred field: TORTURE ^^)

I shove the human behind me as two sharp nails dig and pull down my arm. No blood trickles out as my skin heals instantly. Coming from the opposite direction, the other vampire charges at my human. He must've mixed something in his drink, he is insanely fast. There is no other way to stop him so I do what maids are never supposed to do.

My nails transform into long claws as I dash head on to the approaching figure. He is not completely intoxicated since he flinches away, but I still slash him across the face. He falls to the ground, three feet from the human girl.

"Behind you!" she yells with her sweet voice. I turn and elbow the other pouncing vampire in the jaw, hearing a painful crack. He falls to the floor as well.

"Come here, Alvena," I say through my protruding canines, though not taking my eyes off the two squirming on the grass floor. Her shaking hands grab onto the back of my shirt as I watch the drunks get back up slowly. They are persistent, and I know exactly why.

From the hem of my dress, I tear a long strip and wrap it tightly around Alvena's scraped hand. It's a small cut, but blood is still blood, and her blood is unnecessarily pleasant—even to me.

"Evelyn..." her small voice calls. Only then did I look at the teary girl. "They...drank from Morwenna...and she stopped m...moving..." she stammers.

For the first time in my life, my heart beat slows slightly. A strange rush of heat pours into my chest as I clench my hands into fists. I hesitated to retract my nails even when I notice them piercing into my own flesh.

A sharp object cut through the wind and I sidestep, grabbing Alvena and shielding her with my body. I hiss when I see the two drunk vampires get back up.

"What is going on?" a ruthless voice cuts in harshly. The voice belongs to a big man, draped in a fancy black cape. A prominent crest sewn in gold rests over the left side of his chest. He must be Lord Dietrich, uncle to my master. His glowing eyes dart to Alvena who shifts out a little from behind me.

Soon, more people gather. I stay still, guarding Alvena from the curious audience. I lose count of how many orders I receive that demand me move, but I remain in place. Alvena's heart rate has just begun to slow down, I will not risk sending her into another frenzy because mere strangers wish to take a look.

My eyes scan the crowd and I whisper, "Master is here." She lets out a sigh of relief. I give her a pat on the hand.

From the side, a tall and slender female vampire dressed in a modest purple gown comes into view. The familiar rose scent that she emits is so distracting that I almost miss Master coming from behind her. As he passes through, the circle of vampires cornering us makes way. It doesn't take long for him to reach us.

"Move," he orders under his breath, not making any eye contact.

"I'm sorry, Master," I say with all due sincerity, as if expecting something. But he only waits for me to move.

I stand aside so he can put his hand around Alvena's shoulders. He spares me a disappointed glance before guiding her inside.

The disbanding audience go back into the hall like nothing has happened. Some stay and gape like I'm from the circus. Since Alvena is safe, I withdraw my fangs. The minute I do, an arm as hard as steel knocks me behind the knees and I fall on all fours. A swift pair of hands hook a collar around my neck and pulls it taut so quickly that I land on my back. I scramble to get up, but my knees fail and so I only tug at the collar with the the tips of my fingers as they drag me across the grass, to the pavement, and then indoors.

They finally stop when we reach the center of the ballroom. There is no longer cloth covering my skin. My entire back is exposed and aches from being scraped and healed twenty times over. Someone unleashes me and orders I stand.

"You, lowly servant, dare raise a hand against two noble vampires," Uncle Lord Dietrich growls.

In the audience, Morwenna is standing to the side, head lowered. I can tell she lost a lot of blood. London and Adrian are sandwiching her from both sides. They must also be the ones who discovered her. Their expressions do not carry their usual friendliness. Alvena and Master are sitting at the table in front of them.

No words need to be said. They are safe. I glance over at the still talking older Dietrich.

"Do not look at me with your vile eyes," he spits in my face. I look away, hoping he will not do that again. "Lord Kern, please do the honors."

The vampire whose face I scratched walks forward. The one with the broken jaw is not present. He grabs a whip from the tray Morgan is carrying and dips it into a bowl of black liquid.

"It's the Blood Moon and we shall honor it tonight!" he yells aggressively as he takes one step away from me and swings with all his might. The sound of the whip crack sends excitement throughout the crowd. A snicker escapes his lips as I wince in pain. "You Disabled vampire dare touch a lord!" Another mean lash meets my bare back, forming two neat parallel lines. I step out of place from the impact of the second blow.

I did not have to turn around to know that my wounds are not healing. Like I guessed, the bowl of black liquid must be the same vampire venom that are used in the armies. Even the noble blood running through my veins cannot begin to heal as quickly as the venom kicks in.

"You stupid maid! Stand in place," he shouts as he flogs again and again.

And each time without fail, I go back standing as tall as I always stand. I know it irritates him to meet me at eye level so even if my back stings as if burned by hot iron, I will do so. London and Adrian do not look, but Morwenna is proud. I can see light returning to her weary eyes.

From the side, I spot Alvena tugging at Master's arm.

"Evelyn is innocent!! She was just protecting me. They are the ones in the wrong!! They hurt Morwenna and they tried attacking me. If not for Evelyn, I wouldn't... Please Alek, I beg you. Stop this!" she pleads. Master ignores her.

The panting vampire stops whipping me and looks over at their table. "Lord Aleksandar!" Kern hollers. "Do you oppose my methods?" He beckons Morgan to bring the bowl of venom again.

"Please," Alvena whispers as she tugs at Master's sleeves. Again, he doesn't make eye contact.

He only shifts his golden gaze hostilely. "Continue as you see fit."

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