The Priestess of the Dead

by Ngozi Janet Akalonu

He had now watched her for three nights, noting her transition with keen interest and wondering what confused thoughts would be running haywire in that mortal head of hers. He did not like her: she was too lithe, too petite, and too graceful – qualities that disgusted him, but Vladimir’s obsession with her left the entire underworld at a standstill. Besides, the Blood Drones had repeatedly testified she was the one to revive the long lost bloodline of Orika Shanti, the most powerful Shadow Walker, whose corpse still had enough juice to wipe out a hundred blue-blooded vampires.

He licked his lips as he saw her emerged from her home. He could almost taste her fear, her apprehension, and even though it seemed her transition was almost complete, she still looked human to him, a thought that sent hot, scalding hunger coursing through his taut veins.

He hated this job. He was initially pleased with it, but since he had done what he was asked to do, he couldn’t understand why Vladimir had insisted he monitor her from the shadows. Also, the night was cool and alluring – a perfect night for hunting. But here he was, making sure a certain teenage virgin transitioned completely before he could make himself known to her and then tell her everything, as frightening as it was.

He watched her pause in her movement and turn around. He didn’t need to hide, she wouldn’t see him. Besides the fact that he was well concealed behind the shrubs, the perfect darkness offered a good blanket over his deathly form. She would need to be just a few inches from him to sense his presence, he smiled.

That would be a bad idea.

He watched her stare into the darkness and held his breath, she was staring straight at him and her eyes had taken on a complete, ethereal hue that fascinated him. Was she finally emancipated? If she was, then was there really any point in hiding any longer? But then, she reached out and caressed her neck – the spot – and his black blood raced, making him flush with excitement.
He was hungry.
He was darn hungry.

She stood for a couple of minutes before moving on, and he wondered if she had begun having the first tell tale symptoms.
The irritation to sunlight.
The craving for raw meat.
The inhuman strength.
The unusual aversion to silver
The mad sexual appetite.

If she was, it was only a matter of weeks before she discovered how powerful and yet, vulnerable she had become. The Blood Drones – the underworld most powerful heralds – had placed an entire fate on her shoulder and they would protect her with their lives. Vladimir had only one dream and that was to get her pregnant. This would consolidate his legacy as the patriarch to the future leader of the entire Bluebloods and Night Hounders

And him? He was ambitious. He hated her, but she meant a lot to many people. Besides, he had tasted her blood and in spite of himself, he had to admit, she stirred his loins.
He rose slowly from his hidden position and watched her disappear into the night. He was powerful but not as powerful as Vladimir, the Night Hounders or the Blood Drones. Yet he had an idea.

He would take advantage of her confusion and offer her solace, and when she was in her weakest, he would strike. If the underworld with all its darkness was going to have a new king, what better honour than to be the father of that king?

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