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The Dark Prince (Prologue)

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They were on the front doorstep. The great oak door rattled with the force of their blows. The vampire king knew it would come to this one day. After taking the side of those that refused human blood, he knew the nobles would not take it lightly. He was right. In response, they rebelled and they were coming to kill him and his family. The vampire king turned to his wife and gently rested his hand on her shoulder.
"We have to get our son out," he said. "He's our only chance."
"I know," the queen answered, tears glistened in her eyes.
"They're here."
The king and queen turned to see their only son, a tall, blond youth just shy of one hundred years.
"I think every single noble is out there," the prince went on. "They're being led by that bastard, Alphonse. If we can take him out—" he trailed off as he saw his mother's tear streaked face. "What's wrong?"
"There are too many," the king replied. "They've brought all their personal guards. Our chances of survival are very slim. You have to get out."
"What?!" the prince exclaimed. "No! I'm not going to leave!"
"You have to," the king said.
"No!"
"Chase Damon Sabine-Verdun, my only son," the queen gently took his face in her slender hands. "One member of the royal family must survive and it's going to be you."
"No, mom," the prince shook his head, tears filling his eyes as well. "I can't, I just can't!"
"Yes you can," the queen replied. "Our people need you."
A loud crunch echoed through the hallway as a gloved fist broke through the door.
"Go my son!" the queen let him go.
"Grim!" the king shouted. "You and the rest of the guard get the prince out of here! I don't care what you have do, just get him out alive!"
"Yes sire," the black haired guard nodded.
The door made a horrible wrenching groan as it was ripped off its hinges. An army of snarling black clad vampires swarmed into the main hall like a plague of locusts. The prince went into a fighting crouch, ready to spring when Grim grabbed him.
"Come on sire," he said. "The others are waiting."
The prince was about to protest when Grim started to drag him from the hall. A cry reached their ears and the prince looked over his shoulder just in time to see the king go down at the hands of a silver haired noble. Alphonse.
"Father!" the prince cried. "No!"
"There's nothing you can do now!" Grim growled. "We have to get out!"
The prince snarled and struggled in the guard's grip, but Grim succeeded in getting him out of the main hall. The prince's four other personal guards were waiting in one of the black hallways.
"What took you?" one with spiky red hair asked.
"The king has fallen," Grim replied. "We have to go. Alphonse and the other nobles will be looking for the prince."
"Let them come," the prince hissed.
"No, Prince Damon," Grim said. "Our orders were to do whatever it takes to get you out alive. Now let's go."
The guards began to leave, Prince Damon reluctantly following in their midst. They rushed through winding servants' hallways and back rooms. Damon felt numb, like he'd left part of himself behind. He passed familiar places without seeing them. All he could think was his family was dead. Damon didn't realize they were outside until he felt the cool breeze on his face. They flitted through the huge garden that Damon used to spend so much time in. Now it only made him think of his mother. A tear streaked down Damon's cheek. He felt someone pushing him but he didn't know who, he didn't care anymore. They started ascending a hill when the smell of smoke hit Damon's nose. Smoke? The fog clouding his mind dissipated and he pushed his way to the front of his guard.
"Sire!" Grim exclaimed.
Damon ignored him and continued to the top of the hill. The hill overlooked the mansion of the royal family and he arrived at the top to see smoke rising from the mansion. His home was burning.
"No," he whispered. "This can't be! NO!!!"
The prince dropped to his knees and hung his head, sobs beginning to wrack his body. He had nothing, first his family, now his home. His guard crested the hill and gathered behind him.
"Damon," Grim placed a light hand on his trembling shoulder. "We have to go."
Damon barely heard him. A sickening crunch echoed through the still night. Damon looked up to see the roof beams crumble to the flaming onslaught. His despair melted into rage, pure unadulterated rage. A savage snarl rumbled deep in Damon's throat. His fangs slid from their sheaths and his eyes blazed red. Instinct completely took over and his instinct demanded blood.
"He's losing control," Grim said. "He's losing control!"
Damon tilted his head back, letting loose a guttural roar. In one movement he sprang to his feet and took off.
"Take him down! Take him down!" Grim shouted. "He can't get near humans in this state!"
The four other guards immediately shot after him. The small one with blond hair caught up first. He dropped and skidded, wrapping his arms about Damon's legs. The prince went down with a shriek. Damon bent and planted a well aimed fist in the small one's face. He yowled and let him go. Damon scrambled to his feet and continued running. Two with spiky red hair, twins, came up along either side of him. Damon saw them coming and skidded to a halt. He turned and faced them, snarling. The twins slowed down and advanced cautiously.
"We're gonna have to fight him," one of them said.
"There's one of him and five of us, we can take him," the other replied.
They came forward slowly, Damon's eyes darted between them. He bared his fangs and hissed. The twins went into almost identical crouches, baring their teeth. Then they charged. Damon dodged around one and sank his teeth deep into the other. He screamed in pain.
"Alex!" the first twin shouted.
Damon let Alex go and faced the other twin.
"James, get Lucius!" Alex yelled, clutching the bite wound on his shoulder.
James ignored him and leapt at Damon with an enraged roar. Damon growled and also sprang, the two collided in the air with a crunch. Damon shrieked as James buried his teeth into his neck. While James forced his fangs ever deeper into the vampire prince's flesh, Damon reached back and dug his long fingers into James's shoulder. A loud pop pierced the night as his shoulder was dislocated. James howled in pain and lost his grip on Damon, falling to the ground with a thump. Damon landed in a graceful crouch but failed to notice the smallest member of the guard creeping up behind him. Suddenly the little vampire jumped on Damon's back, wrapping his arms around his throat. The prince tried to roar but all that came out was a strangled gurgling sound. The small one tightened his grip. Damon leapt sand bucked, trying to dislodge him, but he held fast.
"Kinnley, drop!" a deep voice rumbled.
Kinnley let go just as black haired vampire charged in. As soon as the extra weight was gone, Damon spun away from his new attacker. The black haired vampire shot out a fist but Damon dodged and grabbed him, sinking his teeth into his arm. He snarled and landed a crushing punch across Damon's jaw. The prince was knocked a few feet away where Grim pounced, pinning him down. Damon shrieked and struggled but Grim kept him pinned.
"Got him?" the black haired guard asked.
"Yeah, Lucius, he's down."
"What was that?" James asked, popping his shoulder back in place.
"It's like he doesn't know who we are anymore," Kinnley said.
"He doesn't," Grim replied, keeping hold of the thrashing prince. "This is Bloodrage. He's lost all human like me Luciuses and self-control. He's running completely on instinct. His instincts demand blood and we're keeping him from getting it. Therefore, we're enemies."
Damon roared and snarled, but his struggles were futile. Grim would not move.
"Lucius, knock him out," Grim ordered. "If we wait for it to wear off we won't get out in time."
The black haired vampire nodded and brought a clenched fist down on the back of Damon's head. The prince went limp and Grim got up.
"He'll be fine when he wakes up," Grim assured. "Move out."
Lucius picked up Damon's prone form and they disappeared into the forest.



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