• I was led through twisting halls of rosewood and delicately decorated wallpaper in the color of rich buttercream. The toast colored carpet was soft underneath my bare feet, and oddly enough, slightly warm. All and all, once I had calmed a bit during what seemed to be a mile long walk to my destination, it was a pretty comfy place. However, I couldn’t help but shiver when I met the cold, silver eyes of one of the portraits, a silver haired man with angular features, whose supple lips were twisted into a cruel smirk.
    I hurried on past the frightening silver haired man, and sped up to walk beside my strange guide. Suddenly I didn’t feel warm anymore. I couldn’t help but notice the faint resemblance to the man who had bitten me before, the same one who I assumed had brought me to this place.
    Tobias blinked down at me, and gave me a slight pat on the back, ignoring the fact that I tried my best to shy away. Although, I thought I caught a faint chuckle. I sighed inwardly. Well…he seemed friendly enough at least. I just hoped who ever he was leading me to would be just as friendly…and I hoped Tobias would keep his word to keep me safe.
    “Who was that man in the portrait,” I ventured, glancing up at him, then away again as I met his strange purple eyes. I didn’t like those eyes, they seemed to stare right through me. Had he been staring at me the entire time?
    Another faint chuckle. I hadn’t been imagining it…
    “That would be Maron,” he chirped. “Ven’s twin brother. Hopefully, for your sake, you won’t meet him,” he said with a more audible chuckle.
    I frowned, suddenly worried. “But you said…”
    He laughed. “No harm will come to you, little spider. It should be not harm that you fear…” He left it at that. I didn’t want to think about what he meant.
    I gave a slight snort. “I’m not afraid of you…” I mumbled. Of course, that was a big fat lie, and probably stupid of me, provoking him like that, but I was tired of being bossed around.
    “I don’t want you to be afraid of me…” he whispered, causing me to look up at him in surprise. His violet eyes held a sort of soft sadness, and I felt guilty suddenly for being so rude to him. Perhaps it hadn’t been a threat, just a good bit of advice.
    I gave a jerky nod and turned my eyes to my feet as we walked the rest of the way in thick silence.

    We reached our destination at last, a tall door made out of some dark, reddish-brown wood that might have been cherry. He opened the door for me, and I stepped nervously into the fire lit gloom. I didn’t really want to go in there alone… I turned to tell him that, only to discover that he was nowhere to be seen. A small shiver danced it’s icy fingers down my spine and I stepped the rest of the way in, closing the door behind me.
    I jumped as the door locked with a faint click, my eyes widening. I was trapped. If anything went wrong I was trapped. Like a rat. Okay, maybe not a rat. I’d much rather be a mouse than a rat. Trapped like a mouse…yeah…heh… Oh god, I was going to die. Tobias had lied to me, and I was going to die in some horrible way…
    A small whimper escaped my throat when a spidery and pale hand fell to my shoulder from behind, and I screwed my eyes shut, waiting for the end. There was nothing else I can do.
    “Easy…easy…” A soft, husky voice soothed. I knew that voice… “I’m not going to hurt you…you can open your eyes… Come, sit down. I only want to talk. I’m sorry if I frightened you, but I can’t have you running away. Your presence is vital to our survival.”
    I cautiously opened my eyes and glanced over my shoulder, my own eyes widening in fright as I met the crimson eyes of my past attacker. I tried to pull away, but as soon as the fear leaped up inside of me, it was gone again, replaced with a strange feeling of drifting calm as the vampire guided me to a chair and sat me down.
    “Relax,” he said quietly. “You’re going to hyperventilate if you keep this up.”
    I looked at him blearily. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. “What…what are you doing to me? Leave me alone, I didn’t do anything to you…”
    He chuckled. “What I’m doing,” he said, “Is keeping you from passing out from lack of oxygen. I can’t very well effectively speak to an unconscious woman, can I? It’s called the charm. A…gift that comes with the many curses of vampirism. Think of it as a type of hypnotism. You can close your eyes. I won’t let you fall asleep, and you’ll probably be more comfortable. I need to speak with you, and you’re going to remain this way until you can calm down on your own.” He sounded almost scolding, and a felt a faint twinge of annoyance.
    However, I cautiously closed my eyes, they felt too heavy to hold open any longer, and his voice was so very soothing… I jumped a bit. No! No! Not again! I was not going to let him get me again! I struggled against the strange sleepiness that had settled over me, but I felt it quickly squashed again.
    “Now,” the vampire said. “First things first. I believe proper introductions are in order. No need to speak. I suspect it’s too much of an effort right now with the charm weighing on your mind, and I know your name, but you do not know mine. They call me Ven, and as you have plainly observed, I am a vampire. However, I am other things as well, including a race of beings called Tesseracts. What we are is not important, what we do however, is imperative.”
    I felt the strange calm starting to lift, and slowly, I was allowed to sit up as I came out of it. Ven was sitting across from me in a large red easy chair, legs crossed beneath his duster, hat slightly lowered over his pale face. He had taken out the black feather from his hat, and was twirling it absently between his fingers.
    “What we do,” he continued. “Is keep the balance. For things to exist, they must have balance. Everything must have balance. Dark must have light, light must have dark. Good must have evil, evil must have good. Hope and despair, warm and cold, yin and yang.”
    He sat up, leaning forward with a wry smile. The charm had all but lifted now. I gave a faint shiver as the smile revealed the very point of a fang, poking out from under his upper lip.
    “However,” he said softly. “For once, the balance has been disturbed, and we cannot correct it.” His crimson eyes lit up with a faint fire and he grinned, causing me to instinctualy lean back as I got a full view of those fangs. “But you can, Slayer.”