Pleasure and hunger ignite when a vampire tempts a dhampir with everything she desires. Can she resist the forbidden lust or will she surrender?
Layla, a twenty-one-year-old half-breed known as a dhampir, is incredibly beautiful and deadly. She drinks vampire blood for power and to stop the burning hunger.
The vampire academy is a hundred acres of land surrounded by high tech security to ensure that none enters or leaves. She is in the protection.
When she has lessons with the vampires, she struggles with her hunger and has to learn to trust them—a big issue for Layla because of her past, something she can neither forget nor run from. The past that haunts her dreams reminds her that she cannot hide as she lives her life in the academy.
Then there is Shade—an impossibly handsome vampire and Layla’s one-on-one instructor. Desires she never knew rise whenever he looks at her. She cannot stop how her body reacts to his touch or how much she wants his body and his blood.
It is a forbidden lust that they share, one they must keep a secret from those around them or Layla risks everyone finding out who she really is.
Someone wants her dead. Layla's goals, deal with the vampires who hate dhampir's and keep herself alive. Can she do it?
I hit the floor hard and groaned with both pain and annoyance. Pain because it was Father who knocked me to the floor, annoyance because it was the twelfth time he had done so, and easily.“That was sloppy, daughter!” Father boomed, making his voice echo off the walls in the large room.
“You could at least go easy, you aren’t exactly easy to knock down.” I grumbled as I got to my feet. Nikalye watched me do so, wanting to help, but knowing he couldn’t because Father would not allow it.
“Then what will you learn?” Logic, Father was all about it.
Then again, I supposed I was also. I stretched, trying to ease my aching muscles that were screaming for me to stop before I walked forward, facing Father, who was calm and not even sweating. He stood still without his fists in the air while he looked at me, checking me over. I was standing so in his eyes, I was fine.
He moved quickly. I was on the floor before I could even feel the pain of his punch. I didn’t stay down, despite my need to breathe. I jumped to my feet, moved to the side to avoid another punch and twisted around. I kicked him in the back and he stumbled forward. Surprise was on my side so I easily knocked him to the floor when I hooked my leg around his and pushed him. I moved back quickly, knowing Father wouldn’t stay down easily. He flipped himself to his feet and was on me in a second, knocking me to the floor with a sweep of his long legs. I rolled backward onto my hands and managed to kick him in the face before I back flipped, kicking him again and then jumped forward. My knees landed on his stomach and I knocked him down and put my hands, one on top of each other, over his heart.
“Dead,” I breathed, fighting the pain in my ribs and legs. Father laughed and climbed to his feet easily, taking me with him before me put me on the floor.
“Well done, daughter.”
I smiled weakly, not feeling all that victorious, when my body began to heat up quickly, spreading from my lower back where Nikalye’s hands were, around to my stomach and up my rib cage.
“Broken ribs, but no punctured lung, thankfully,” he muttered before he moved, taking my hand. Doxiak took Nikalye’s place, placing his hands across my ribs just under my breasts. My body, having just cooled down from Nikalye’s touch, flared white-hot and I hissed with pain as my ribs shifted and mended.
“You can take your ribs being broken, but not being mended?” he asked, his deep voice vibrating from his hands and through my body.
“Let me break your ribs and then you mend them.” I growled. Nikalye squeezed my hand as Father laughed.
“Like father, like daughter,” Doxiak mumbled, which caused me to smile…
I looked away from my window, from the view of the forests and the mountains in the distance and the stars in the dark sky that had just begun to fade with the rising sun. I sighed as my heart hammered painfully in my chest at the memory of me training with Nikalye and Father. I remembered it clearly, as if it had only happened yesterday instead of seven years ago. I always remembered everything taught to me, it was the only thing keeping me alive.
Father usually never fought with me, always let Nikalye be the teacher while he chose to sit and watch, making comments and telling me easier ways of doing something. I always enjoyed fighting Nikalye. I did learn a lot from him, except one thing, pain. Pain that I felt when someone hit me hard or the pain of me hitting someone and doing it wrong—that Nikalye refused to teach me because of the kind of vampire he was. Father understood and it was why he taught me.
I remembered being nervous. At fourteen, I was not exactly big, especially compared to Father, to anyone really. When Father hit you, you felt it shake every bone in your body.
I sighed again and looked around my room. After two years, it did not look any different. Just like everything else. Even the days were the same, dark.
A large canopy covered half of the hundred acres of land we lived in, blocking out the sun from above only because everyone needed protection from it. Such made it eternal darkness within the academy. We could still feel the heat and we could feel the cold wind, but the sun could not shine through the canopy.
I was in the accommodation building, a tall building with ten floors, each containing ten bedrooms. The bottom floor was large area full of settees, chairs, TVs and such. It had a separate room with toilets. The adults called it a common room. There was another building connected behind, which was where everyone ate and got their blood of course.
This academy was full of teenage vampires, all learning and training for the same thing. To survive.
Father thought it would have been best if I did not share a floor with the rest so I had the top floor, for privacy and for myself. The top floor only had two rooms, a bedroom and a bathroom. I had my own lift to get to this floor and I was the only one that knew the password, other than my guard, Nikalye and Father of course.
Unlike the other bedrooms, my room had a wall made entirely out of glass, which showed outside. It looked better when the sun was high. I had thick, black curtains because even though I liked the sun and the warmth in the morning, I did like it to be dark when I was sleeping.
My room was large and elegant. The carpet was thick, soft and black, at my request. The walls were red with black swirls up the side of every corner and part of the ceiling. I had a round red chair that sat in front of the large window. It was big enough to fit three people.
I had a four-poster king-sized bed, hand carved of dark mahogany wood with intricate swirls around the top of the headboard. There was a large chest, made from the same wood as my bed, set at the end and lined with thick silver. There was no lock. I did not worry, no one would be able to get in.
My walk-in wardrobe was in the wall at the end of my room. Just like my chest, no one could get into my wardrobe because at first glance there was nothing there.
On one inside wall was a large mirror and everywhere else was clothes. I had no love for clothes, even though I had lots. My only love was for my weapons. I fought to get them, fought to have them with me and would fight to keep it that way.
Before everyone started calling this place an academy, the buildings, built centuries ago on one hundred acres of land, housed the important vampires for their own safety while others went to war. They could sleep, eat in a large dining hall and have all the luxuries asked for.
Sadly, it appeared that such was not going to protect those inside for those who went out never came back, fights broke out and people died.
When our enemies became stronger, had better equipment—quick enough to kill us faster than being blown up—the fights within the land stopped. Everyone eventually agreed that in order to keep the number of their people up, they had to work together.
Almost everyone added more protection, growing more tall and thick trees within the land and wiring such with sensory cameras. A large canopy grew, protecting everyone from any sky attacks and the sun. Holograms placed around the outside of the boundaries hid our location and gave us more safety than we could imagine. No one had to worry about any of our enemies getting in.
It just meant that the place was thrown into darkness twenty-four seven. The others knew the risk and were not stupid. Although missing the sun while living here, they were vampires and it was in their nature not to go into the light.
Even though most didn’t know where the academy lay and were aware of the added protection, the enemies didn’t stop. They went for the children. At times babies were found brutally murdered, devoid of blood and sometimes limbs. Everyone came together and decided that all teenage vampires should have a chance at surviving. They built another two buildings, one to train in and another so everyone could sleep in their own rooms because they were not allowed into the mansion with the adults. Then began teaching all they needed to know about the enemy and how to survive.
I rubbed a hand across my face, climbed off my chair and walked across the room. Clad only in a short nightdress and barefoot, I opened my door and stepped into a large hallway where my lift waited. My bathroom was on the right. I took the lift to the ground floor.
I was thankful no one was in the common room when my lift opened. No one knew I was here, though everyone knew someone was because the men who created the lift to my room could not hide what they were doing.
The common room, with light walls and hard floors, was longer than it was wide, and able to easily hold over two hundred. The settees and chairs were an assortment of colours, brightening the room. The walls had thick framed pictures of the most important people. The TVs—all ten of them—were large. There were shelves on one side of the wall filled with books and small cabinets filled with games, DVDs and music.
There were five lifts—not including my own—each one going to two floors a piece.
Just like my bedroom, tinted glass made up one of the walls looking out across the large area of grass, trees and the training building in the distance. Everyone could see out, but no one could see in. It was for privacy I was told.
I crossed the room and stepped into the night. Walking across the cold grass, I ignored the fact it was slightly tickling my bare feet. There were lights on the outside of each building that lit the space in-between. The training building was large and old, looking more like a medieval castle, more than somewhere where you would fight and learn.
I walked to the left of it, going through the trees. There was no light here, but that did not bother me. I was not afraid of the dark, nor did the dirt, leaves, stones and twigs that covered the ground underneath my feet bother me.
It was impossible to walk through these trees quietly, so when I heard the rustle of leather, the crunch of leaves and the snap of twigs, I sighed as I quickened my pace, stepping over a low branch and knowing the person following me would pick up speed also. I walked behind a large tree and ran forward to another quickly. When I got to it, I ran up the trunk and jumped high, grabbing hold of a branch. I swung around it, held myself straight with my hands before I quietly put my feet down onto the branch.
I looked behind me and saw him walk to the tree I was in and then stop. He looked left and right and then turned into a full circle, scanning. When he was facing the trunk, I dropped to the floor, landing behind him, and grabbed both of his arms and pushed him into the tree, hard. He did nothing to defend himself.
“Mi Belleza Oscura—”
When I heard the meaning of my name in Spanish—Dark Beauty—I let him turn so he could look at me.
“You should know better than to sneak up on me, Nikalye,” I said. He smiled, which made his handsome face more handsome. His long honey blond hair blew gently in the breeze as he looked at me.
“What are you doing out here? You know you are not meant to be alone at this time.”
You would think that after two years of leaving Nikalye’s accommodations, we would both be used to not seeing much of each other though he was never far away and always there when I needed him. It wasn’t that simple, not after those years…
I swallowed the memory.
“I am fine.” I said truthfully. Nikalye looked into my eyes for a couple of seconds before speaking.
“You do not feel hungry?”
“I will always feel hungry, Nikalye. You of all people know this.” The mention of hunger brought a slight burning in my stomach, one that I ignored.
“That is true. You do not feel out of control?”
“No,” I replied. Then I turned away from him, heading back through the trees. He followed. “I just wanted some air.” This was only partially the truth. I was in control of myself. That was true, but I did not just need to get some air. I needed to shake off the memories.
“So you walked through the trees in just your lingerie?” Nikalye asked with amusement. He was used to the way I dressed and had never commented. He would not start now.
“I was just walking,” I replied as I walked out of the trees. I heard voices so I stopped at the edge with Nikalye standing close behind me, comforting me without needing to try.
“Mi, Belleza Oscura, they will not harm you.”
“I do not wish to be seen just yet,” I told him. The voices were louder now and I heard laughter and cheering. I watched a group of teenagers come out of the building in front of me and walk across the path to the living accommodations. A male opened the door and held it so the others could pass him. He was the authority of the group, a tutor maybe? I could hear them as they thanked him and I could see him smile at them all. Everyone was friends with each other.
I sighed and as I did so, the male lifted his gaze up and met mine. I could see clearly that he was muscular, his blue top straining against his chest and arms. His hair was long and layered, the colour of the night, reaching past his shoulders like raven feathers. He had a perfectly sculptured face with a strong jaw line and full lips. His skin, I could see it from here, was smooth and flawless, white like pearls.
I did not look away from him. I couldn’t explain it, I felt drawn to him. I felt connected.
“Mi, Belleza Oscura, what is wrong?” Nikalye asked.
I turned to look at him as he glanced over my shoulder. I opened my mouth and looked around, too, to explain how I had felt, but saw no one there.
“Nothing,” I said instead and turned back to him. Once again, Nikalye looked at me before he offered me his hand.
“Come, I have clothes. I think it is time for you to meet Diaxon.”
“Already?” I asked. This was the day I had been dreading. Meeting Diaxon meant that it was time for me to join in the lessons he and others taught. I would be around other vampires and that was what I was afraid of most.
“You will be fine, mi Belleza Oscura,” Nikalye said, reading my worries.
I nodded and held his hand tightly. I was not afraid of meeting anyone I had not met before.
I was afraid I would hurt them.
We walked through the double doors to the training building into an entrance hall with just two doors. The walls were very bare here, painted white over the large rough stones. We headed across the large room, Nikalye’s boots echoed off the floor and walls. He pushed open the door opposite the one we came in, and stepped to the side so I could walk through. The room was long with a high ceiling. The walls were black, making the green and red targets around the room stand out. I looked around and saw, much to my pleasure, weapons. All different kinds, throwing knives, short and long swords, sticks of bamboo and metal, spears and pikes, hung from the wall on the left side of the room.Once again, there were only two doors in this room, one of which I was standing in and another on the other side.
“Mi Belleza Oscura.”
I looked at him. He handed me a pair of leather trousers and a black vest top before he turned his back as I pulled off my night dress and pulled on the vest. Once I had on my leather trousers, Nikalye turned around and took my nightdress.
“I must take my leave,” he said a little sadly.
He smiled, took my hand and squeezed it reassuringly. He knew what I feared. “You have not called me Warrior in a long time, mi Belleza Oscura. I have missed it.”
I smiled slightly. “Stay with me.”
“I will come back soon. You have my word.”
With a sigh, I nodded. He stroked my cheek, kissed my hand and then left. I watched him go before I looked back into the room. I could smell the others, male and female. Sweat, adrenaline and determination. All of it smelled like something sweet. No one in this room was angered at all. Everyone was having fun, talking, laughing and fighting.
I turned around and looked at the tall man striding down the hall toward me. He had shoulder length black hair, high cheekbones and full lips.
“Hello,” I was polite as ever.
He smiled. “I am Diaxon, your training instructor and protector.”
I bowed my head respectfully.
“What I would like you to do now, because I do not know how well you fight, is a trial run—if that is okay with you?”
“That is fine,” I told him.
“The trial run is going to show me how well you fight when faced with danger. It will be testing you on your speed, strength, agility and cunning. At the end, I will be able to determine which group you will be joining, though I think I know which one I will be putting you in.”
“Now, I know who you are and I have no doubt that you are an incredible fighter. Though you are twenty-one, you have not been taught here and your father wishes for you to be in the lessons, not assisting it.”
“Very well. I will escort you there and then escort you back to your room.”
I followed Diaxon across the hall to the opposite door. He opened the door and held it so I could walk past him, then he led me down another hall, past some stairs and more doors to a door on the end.
He spoke as we walked in. “You will not see me, but I am in the room with you. Good luck.” With that, he disappeared, literally.
This room was very similar to the other hall except there were no targets and weapons on the wall.
I glanced behind me and saw that there was also no door, no escape.
The lights on the high ceiling flickered and I looked at them as they went out. The darkness was so thick, I could not see through it. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes to concentrate and took a step forward.
I ducked the fist that would have slammed into the side of my face and swept my foot out. I stood back up and bent backward to avoid a leg and grabbed the next one that came. I pulled it toward me, using the attacker’s surprise against him. I knocked him into the floor as the lights flickered on. I took a step back and watched as the man disappeared. I looked around. No one was in the hall with me now, but that did not mean there wasn’t anyone there. I stayed still as stone and closed my eyes once more. My senses told me there were two coming from the right side, one creeping up behind me and one coming from above.
I opened my eyes as the one above me dropped. I turned to the side, avoiding his body, and closed my fingers around his thick muscled throat. I slammed him to the floor like the other one, before I twisted around and grabbed an arm. I twisted around his body until we were back to back and then jumped up, lifting myself up and kicking a man in front of me with both of my feet before I jumped up again and rolled backward over his back. I wrapped my arm around his neck and slammed him into the floor. I rolled backward and crouched low, but nothing attacked me.
The lights flickered, going off and on quickly. I let out a quiet breath and straightened when the ground rumbled. I jumped backward as a large beam shot out of the floor. I sensed someone behind me and quickly jumped up high. I grabbed hold of the beam while it was still moving and twisted around like a gymnast when it stopped. I balanced myself on top and looked down. I saw that it wasn’t just someone, it was six someones, all big males wearing black. I stood carefully and placed my right foot in front of my left. The men below me looked up before one jumped. He landed on the beam without a wobble and walked toward me.
I bent my knees slightly when the man stopped. He was close enough to touch. When he twisted around on one leg, his other leg turned in a high arc that aimed for my head. I ducked, but he swept my legs out from underneath me and I slipped off the beam. I grabbed hold of it, swung around and kicked the man in the face before I balanced myself on my hands and then onto my feet. I did not watch the man fall, but jumped into the air and back flipped over a man behind me. I wrapped my legs around his neck and turned my body to the side as I fell. I grabbed the beam as the man twisted around at an odd angle and lost his balance. I let go of him when I was upside down and the man toppled off the beam. I slowly put my feet down before I back flipped off it. I landed on the floor silently and stayed crouched.
The men come at me at the same time. One man threw his fist toward my face. I side stepped it and his punch landed in the face of another man so hard, he flew across the hall. I then dodged someone’s kick and it landed in someone else’s stomach. I took a couple of steps back as two vampires swept their hands out, their intent was to grab me. Instead, they grabbed the necks of each other. I ran up them and while airborne, kicked them both in the face, one after the other. I landed on my feet and backed flipped quickly as the last man left twirled a bamboo stick.
We circled each other and then he hit out with the stick fast. I dodged it, but he hit out with the other side and pain flared through me. I didn’t react, but grabbed the stick before he could swing it back. He pulled on it hard. I dropped to the floor and skidded between his legs. I grabbed both of them and pulled hard. He fell forward. I jumped on his back and stuck one of my knees in his neck. He grunted with pain, but lay motionless when I pressed the pressure points on his neck.
I slowly got to my feet as the lights went off again. I knew someone had appeared in the room with me. I just couldn’t tell where. I breathed in deeply and closed my eyes. The man walked toward me slowly and made no sound. Keeping my eyes shut, I moved forward quickly and hit him in the face, making his head snap back in surprise. He looked around, but I dropped to the floor and knocked his feet from under him. I kicked him as he fell. He flew across the hall and smashed into the wall opposite. He slumped to the floor and didn’t get back up.
I opened my eyes and saw the lights were on. I also saw the door open and a man walked in with two spears, one was black, the other red. I watched as he walked toward me and stopped. He held the red spear out. I took it from him as he spoke.
“Watch, listen and concentrate.” Then he swung his spear fast.
I put mine up to block it and swung the other end, but he blocked that.
He smiled at me. “Good. Move your body with the stick, don’t be afraid of using all of your strength, you won’t hurt me.”
I nodded and turned my body to the side. I bent my knees slightly and held one hand in the middle of the first part and the other in the middle of the top part. The man seemed to approve because he took the same stance. He stood like stone and when I hit with my stick, he lifted his to block it, but I pulled back at the last second and sent the bottom of the stick into his stomach.
He doubled over and I hit him in the face, twisted the stick in my hands, and hit him in the stomach again while I kicked his feet and knocked him to the floor. I jumped on him and aimed the point toward his neck. He knocked it away from me and used his stick to push me off. He swung and I ducked, then back flipped as he used it to try and knock my feet from under it. I swung my stick, knocked his out of his hands and then jumped on him again. He fell to the floor and I put the sharp end to his neck.
“My dear, you are an extraordinary fighter.”
I climbed off him.
He got to his feet and bowed. “It has been an honour.” He turned and walked away with both sticks.
“Well done, Layla. Please, come this way,” Diaxon said as he held the door open. We walked down the corridor and into the other hall. “You did very well. Your father will be pleased.”
“Thank you.” I looked around the room once more.
“You remind me of your father, the way you move.”
I smiled at that compliment, liking it very much. Diaxon opened the doors again and then followed me into the hall.
“You are the first in a long time to complete that trial,” he said as we walked along the hall. A female taller than me with very long chocolate brown hair twisted to one side of her head looked at me curiously. Maybe it was my looks. Maybe it was just because she had never seen me here before.
“Master Diaxon,” she bowed her head respectfully.
“Mireuves, if you will wait here, I shall be back shortly.”
She nodded and looked at me once more and I at her. She had a heart shaped face, big blue eyes and full shiny lips. Her knee length dress hugged her body and showed off her curves. She caught me looking and smiled lightly before I turned away and walked outside. Diaxon and I did not speak as we walked toward the living accommodation building.
“Everyone is taught five different things in total, three of those you will have with me and you will have them every day of the week. One is learning about how the enemy thinks and fights, uses their weapons and how you should fight. Another is practical hand-to-hand combat and finally a practical weapon combat, taught with simple weapons. Once every three days, you will have a lesson with Reikez, of which I will assist so if you should need me I will be there. At the end of every week, you will have your normal lessons mixed into one in the morning, and in the afternoon. You will have a session with Kharlo, he teaches about more advanced weapons.
“I am not going to be teaching you during your fighting sessions, my assistant, Shade, will be. He will be with you for each of your lessons so he can have one-on-one time with you if you are too advanced, and if you are too advanced in non-combat lessons, then you may watch.”
“Now, you will have a lot of free time because everyone gets an hour to eat after each lesson, an hour before fighting and two hours after fighting, and you have two hours of free time in which to catch up with your friends, but I am free whenever you need me, whether I am in lessons or assisting.” He pulled out a gold pocket watch and looked at the time.
“Okay, that is all. Master Nikalye or I will find you to let you know when your first lesson is.”
“I will see you soon.” He smiled and turned to walk away.
I watched him go and suddenly felt alone. I thought about going out of the boundaries. I could do so easily, but my father would be incredibly mad. It was something I had seen many times and did not wish to be on the receiving end of.
I needed to do something.
Already I felt as though someone was watching me.
That was never a good thing.
I looked around and made sure there was no one around and no one in the trees before I crossed the grass between the training building and the living accommodations.
The feeling of someone watching me was stronger out here. I just didn’t know who it could be or where they could be. The air pulsed against my skin and made the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stand on end.
I looked around me before I walked to the right to a large clump of trees. I walked along the line of trees, past the training building and into an even darker part. Something cold passed over me. My hair stood on end and my skin broke out in goose bumps. I stopped and stayed still as stone. I sensed no one around me, but once again, the feeling of someone watching me was there.
“You’re not safe here.”
The voice was a whisper behind me, but when I turned quickly, I saw no one there. I looked around slowly before I walked through the trees. Something glittered out of the side of my vision, a knife with a red handle and intricate swirls embedded from base to tip.
I shivered as something cold washed over me again. I rolled my head on my shoulders and looked at the knife again. It was a beautiful knife. I liked knives. I very much wanted this one.
I reached out to touch the handle. It was warm. I picked it up and looked at it closely before I turned it in my hand. I felt the blade, ran my finger along the swirls and felt the weight. The handle was smooth to the touch and the blade was cold. It felt so natural in my hands.
It also felt natural to turn the knife around so that the blade was pointing at my chest. I closed my eyes and let the feeling of anticipation wash over me. I grabbed the blade’s handle with both of my hands, ready to push…
The blade cut through my top and into my skin. My heart hammered in my chest and I distinctively heard someone chuckle.“Layla?”
Hands grabbed me and pulled the knife away from my chest. I opened my eyes and hissed at the same time as he pushed me against a tree and slammed my hands above my head. I watched the knife fall to the floor, sinking into the soft ground easily.
I shivered and felt goose bumps break out on my skin. I looked at the man holding me against the tree. “Nikalye—”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” I replied. He looked at me for a second before he let my hands go. I ignored the slight sting of my wrists as I looked around. I saw nothing. The feeling of someone watching me was gone.
“What happened?” Nikalye asked as he turned my face to look at him.
“I don’t know.” I looked around again before I looked at Nikalye and took his hand. “Did you see anything?”
He shook his head. “What made you venture out?”
“I felt as though I was being watched.”
Nikalye nodded. “That is what I felt before I found you.” He looked around. “Come, I will escort you back to your room.” He held his arm out. I bent to pick up the knife. Nikalye’s hand closed around my wrist, but I didn’t need to touch it for the scent and the presence of the owner to wash over me like air. I growled.
“What is it?” Nikalye asked as he looked around quickly, looked for the danger that was no longer here.
“Mother,” I used Spanish. When I looked at him, he frowned.
He used the language as well. “That is not possible. She is dead.”
“I do not know,” I reverted to English and heaved out a sigh. “Maybe I am wrong.” Though I had never been wrong before.
“Come, let’s go.” He pulled me to my feet and kept hold of my wrist as we walked. We didn’t speak, but I noticed that Nikalye didn’t watch where we were going, but was looking everywhere. That worried me.
“Nikalye,” I pulled my wrist out of his grip and held his hand. “Speak to me.” We stopped at the front of the doors. Nikalye looked around and then looked at me.
“You trust me, do you not?”
The Spanish again showed my trust. “Yes, of course.”
The English returned. “I will be watching over you, mi Belleza Oscura, I will never be far.” He kissed my forehead. “Trust me.”
I closed my eyes as he hugged me and felt the wind as it blew my hair from my shoulders. I opened my eyes, but Nikalye was gone. I looked around toward the dark trees before I turned around and pushed the door open. I walked across the empty common room and into my lift, pressing the button to go up to my room.
I looked up as the door across the room opened and saw the tall male I had seen earlier step into the building with two males.
He looked in my direction and I looked at his handsome features once more before I looked into his eyes.I saw the colour of them and recognition washed over me, but I didn’t know why. Yes, I saw him earlier, but as I looked into his eyes, I knew I had never met this male before that. I definitely would have remembered, but I felt as though I had seen those bright silver eyes before—before I had come here.
I saw him tilt his head to the side and look at me with curiosity as my lift doors shut. I stared at the door with my mouth slightly open. It was very tempting to press the button to stop my lift, but after tonight, after what I had nearly done. The thought was not as tempting as it sounded.
Who was he though? Why did he seem so familiar to me?
Once upstairs, I showered. My bathroom was as large as my bedroom. It was lighter, the marble walls were white, the floor grey. There was a square hole in the floor to the left, large enough for me to swim in. It served as my bath. The walk in shower took up the entire wall on the right, separated by a shower wall made from squares of marble. There was toilet and sink in the middle, opposite the door.
I washed the dirt off my feet and the sweat from my body and instantly felt calm and relaxed once I was clean. I even curled my hair in loose curls—something I did not do normally—while I stood in my shorts and bra. Nikalye came into my room. He didn’t bother knocking, just simply walked in. He knew when not to disturb me.
“Mi Belleza Oscura, how are you?”
“I am feeling better, thank you,” I replied as I looked at my clothes.
“Diaxon wishes to introduce you to the class so you know who you are going to be with and who is going to be teaching you.”
“Now?” I asked.
He nodded. “Obviously no one could get into your lift to tell you,” Nikalye explained.
“That explains it,” I said with a nod as I pulled out a dress. It was a small black strapless gothic lace dress with a white belt under the bust and a full skirt, which came to the middle of my calves. I pulled on some black high heels with black ribbons criss-crossing my calves.
For the first time in seven years, I really looked at myself in the mirror. I had a curvy figure and a large chest so I filled my dress out perfectly. I showed a lot of leg. I had long and thick pitch-black hair and slightly tanned skin—thanks to my Egyptian heritage—a round face, big violet coloured eyes, small nose and full lips.
I looked past all that at my piercings. I had one of my eyebrows pierced, my nasal septum pierced, my lip pierced on both sides, the tops of my ears pierced and my tongue pierced. I also had my belly button and my nipples done—though no one would know about that one.
I sighed and looked away from my reflection and walked out of my wardrobe. Nikalye looked at me and smiled as I shut the door.
“You are a beauty, mi Belleza Oscura.”
“Thank you, Nikalye.” He offered me his arm and I took it before we headed out. We got down to the common room and as soon as I had locked my lift, we were out in the warm darkness.
I could hear Diaxon speaking as we neared the training hall. I stopped at the door and took a deep breath before walking in.