Richard stood before a black and white contemporary style house. It was neat, with a nice lawn to the left and a driveway that looked to be well maintained.

He stood by the door running his hands along the walls.

”Id say his tastes have improved, ” he said.

A shadow rushed from the street and stood beside him in the blink of an eye.

”Has my taste ever been bad, brother? ” Edward asked with a smile.

”You have no idea, ” Richard replied with the shake of his head.

Edward opened the door.

”Please do come in, ” he said with a snicker.

A Royal Vampires abode couldn be invaded without the Vampires consent after all. Even if said intruder was a Royal Vampire as well.

Daniel walked in and scanned the house.

What faced the door was a sizable lounge with four black couches and a circular glass table.

Open lights were on the ceiling, alongside a mini chandelier. In each corner of the room was an exquisite sculpture; two made of stone and the others, made of wood.

A massive TV was plastered on the wall which didn have any decorations but a plain wallpaper.

”What do you think? ” asked Edward with a hint of pride in his voice.

”I shall reserve my opinion. We have other matters to discuss, ” Richard said as he sat down in a cultured manner.

”What a fine lady youve caught for yourself. You were always into the wild ones. ”

”Whats life for, if not to be lived on the wild side? ”

”Yet you
e still searching for him. ”

”I wasn searching. Given that Ive settled now, Id say its best to keep a lookout. ”

”Fair enough. But for you to say that means there was a reason for you to be vigilant. ”

”Yes. There were some werewolves in this city when I arrived. They refused to have a Royal Vampire sharing their turf, so I removed them as the competition. They fled with their tails between their legs. ”

”Quite fitting. Though if I were you Id make sure the threat was gone altogether. ”

”I would, but… ”

”Marcy? ”

”Yes. ”

”I see. ”

Right then, there was a knock on the door.

Cole went up and opened it only to see a girl who looked to be no older than 20 years, leather black hair cascading from the top of her head while pristine sugar grey eyes excitedly looked at him.

Her purple floral romper as well as sandals said quite a lot about her already.

”Heeeeeey~! ” she said with a bright smile, revealing a bottle of wine she had hidden behind her back.

”And here is the only one among us with an appropriate sense of fashion, ” said Edward as he hugged the girl. ”Welcome sister. ”

”Hey bro. I really missed you, ” she said as she embraced him back. ”You got me wishing I was a Royal Vampire too. Do I really need stand outside till you say so? ”

Richard stood up and went up to the door as well.

”Trust me, no one is exempt from our brothers…. insecurity. I was wondering why I took those keys myself, ” he said.

The girl shook herself of Edwards embrace and rushed up to Richard giving him a loving hug.

”Well, what a lovely show of favouritism, ” said Edward with an annoyed look on his face.

”Good to see you, Pepper, ” Richard said as he returned her embrace.

Pepper gave Daniel a peck on the cheek and then sat on the couch with a bounce.

”Argh.. the comfort! Spoil me brothers! ” she said as she relaxed.

”That can be done later. Lets talk about this now, ” Edward said as he sat on the opposite couch.

Richard remained standing, hand in pocket as always as he gave his attention.

”I made a few hundred humans my loyalties and had them scour the city and other nearby towns and settlements, giving me reports on a daily basis. Thats how I found the information, ” Edward explained.

”Wait, what are you talking about? Didn you invite me for a get together or something? ” asked Pepper.

”No. I didn want our first chat in years to be so bleak but… Theres a problem. He is here. ”

Peppers eyes constricted and she sat up with a grim expression.

She then took a deep breath.

”Are you sure its him? ” she asked with a shaken voice.

”Hes not, ” said Richard with a stern expression. ”I advise that we stay clear of this. Its not worth it to investigate further. Like I said brother, theres more to life than seeking revenge or answers we already know. ”

”Why do you insist on not getting to the bottom of this? I understand Pepper hesitating as she was not with us from the beginning, but you?! ” growled Edward suddenly.

”Im not hesitant! ” Pepper said with a firm expression. ”Im not. We
e family, right? Besides if you die, I die. ”

Edward smiled as he looked at her. Then he looked to Richard.

”Well? ”

”You know what? Time is the one thing we have. Well overstay our welcome for a bit as we resolve this…again, ” said the man in white as he shook his head exasperatedly.

”Fine. I have a date tonight anyway. I want to be in the right mood. ”

”Wait, what?! ” Pepper exclaimed.

”Don act so shocked. I have a considerable amount of charm after all, ” said Edward in his defense.

”Does she know? ” she asked.

”No. Its better if she doesn ….. for now. Preserving her humanity is something I want more than anything else. I don want her to see the dark side of me. She doesn deserve it. ”

”Then why are you with her? ”

Edward was silent for a few seconds and then he spoke.

”Because I need her. ”

Pepper smiled teasingly and jumped up from the couch.

”Alright then. Lets help you dress up! ”

Richard shook his head once again, but with a light smile as he watched Pepper push Edward away.

***

A shadow darted and appeared before a beige craftsman style house. The lights inside and outside were on, making for a beautiful view of the whole space outside in the night.

Edward was standing at the door wearing a casual shirt and jeans that accentuated his slim but chiselled figure. Recalling the battle that he had to walk out his front door with his siblings while wearing this get-up for a special anniversary date made him smirk.

Nighttime was Marcys favourite time of the day and for every celebration, she always chose a time after sundown.

The amber-haired man rang the door bell and waited with a feeling that he seldom experienced.

Anxiety.

He really liked Marcy. She appreciated the simple things above all else, choosing casual chats above extravagant boasts.

She made him nervous. He wasn used to the kind of girl she was. It had been a long time since he felt serious towards a woman.

A woman like her.

Perhaps he only liked because she was akin to a reincarnation of his past love.

Whatever it was…

She vaguely made him recall how it was to be so…. vulnerable.

For that, he was drawn to her.

After waiting for a few seconds, he rang the door bell again, getting increasingly nervous.

Still. No answer.

He put his hand on the doorknob and turned.

The door opened.

Edward became vigilant.

”Marcy… ” he called.

No answer.

”Marcy! ” he yelled.

In desperation he pushed his foot through the door and…

It passed through.

Edwards heart pounded.

Thats impossible unless…. he thought and sped at lightning speed into the house!

He checked the lounge, the kitchen, the first bedroom, the second and then….

He finally founded her.

…!

She lay in a pool of blood at the door of the third bedroom.

Edward rushed up to her and held her in his arms without any other thought!

”Marcy! ” he yelled, and tried to feel for a pulse.

However, she was as cold as ice and her heart had stopped.

The man didn know what to do as he huffed in air greedily.

When he looked at her neck, he was all the more devastated.

Six bite marks!

He couldn feel strength in his powerful bones for a minute and just sat there while holding Margaret in his arms.

He shed no tears.

He only breathed slowly as he stared at her for a long time.

Even the blood that he sat in meant nothing to him at this moment. He felt like he had lost it all.

He knew it!

He should have been more carefully! He shouldn have let this go!

What was sorrow slowly started to turn into rage as his thoughts burned like fire!

He caressed Marcys cheek and pulled back her hair.

He was familiar with the stench of death and with the number of years he had lived, he knew no amount of screaming or crying would bring her back.

So…. he continued to sit in silence and allowed the demons within to eat him up.

The pain, the rage and the hunger. The demons that had become one with him over the four centuries he had been alive.

Three hours had passed as he sat while holding the womans corpse when…

A sharp cough broke the silence, followed by a sharp draw of breath.

Edward was flabbergasted.

It was Marcy!

She coughed and struggled to breathe as she tried to regain her senses.

The mans eyes went wide.

No! Please! No! he thought as he looked at her.

While this would have caused any other man to hold on to hope, seeing his lover awaken from death, Edward couldn .

The womans colour started to return and her heart started to beat with a different rhythm from before.

Edward gnashed his teeth as he looked at her kneel and stare at her bloodied hands.

Marcy looked at Cole and then at her hands, then at the floor.

”E…Edward… whats….whats happening…Arrrrghhh!.. ” she screamed and covered her ears.

Her eyes flashed with different colours; from hazel to a deep red!

She screamed and tried to reach for Edward!

Her boyfriend looked at her with a bitter expression, looking as if he wanted to burst into both rage and sorrow filled cry.

Not her too, he thought.

Margaret screamed and held onto him as she screamed.

”Edward …help me….my ears …my eyes…. It hurts…. my chest…. Make it stop! ” she screamed while looking at him.

Edward couldn take it anymore. This was unfair.

He looked at her gently as she started crying bitterly and ended her suffering the least painful way he knew how.

He held her jaw and neck, and with great strength…..he twisted.

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