“You don’t belong here!” Armand shouted at the invaders inside his home. He charged forward, unarmed save his hands. He launched himself at the man who invaded his home and stabbed his only remaining servant. Icy pain erupted from his chest as steel sank between his ribs. Tiny bubbles emerged as he gasped, sharp fangs visible as his pupils contracted into thin slits. He made a clawing motion at his attacker, rendered useless by his groomed, short fingernails.
The invader stabbed him again, bringing more bloody bubbles from the vampire’s chest. He gasped and wheezed, then lunged at the other male. Sharp teeth sank in, far too shallow to latch, before he was shoved away. He couldn’t breathe.
Armand laid on the ground, staring up at the darkness that obscured his ceiling. He could feel the dull ache of healing already, but he couldn’t move without agony driving him back down. His eyes, frozen leaf-colored orbs, glared at the darkly-dressed man who dared to enter his home and attack his servant. He coughed as the blood began to rise, and he flipped himself slowly onto his stomach, to try to keep the blood from his lungs. Once his wounds touched the frozen stone floor, he stopped feeling anything.
The robber paused over the inert body of both duke and servant, then lowered his head in brief respect before he dashed off to look for what he truly came for. He had to find what his own master desired– the Blood Star that gave the duke and his son its name. The image that was drawn was rough, and the description left much to be desired. It was a silver star, dipped in the blood of the king, by the drawing, but it was the heartwood of a tree that was nurtured only on the blood of a king by the description. Two very different things to find, both claiming to be the same thing. He snarled in irritation. If it was not for his own lack of funds, he would have declined this job. Now, he had the blood of a duke on his hands– worse, the only who would notice would be the tax collector, in two years. He swore to himself repeatedly. This was the worst job he had ever accepted. He climbed the stairs as he located the only area of the dust-covered castle that was clean. If it was where the man lived, perhaps it was where he kept the item that gave the man his name?