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Frailty, The Darkshine

By:Jenika Snow

thrones encrusted with rare jewels that glistened under the lighting. They were the rulers of their kind, the superiors of all others. Many humans had been extinguished, but the majority of them had been captured. Some humans they chose to keep—their pets to play with and feed from. They were stronger, faster and smarter than the humans, and because of that, their reign would run long and strong. They were the DarkShine, the creatures of the night, the blood drinkers known as vampires.

Gaijryc paced his quarters as his mother and father spoke with the council below. Their kind had taken over the world, the royal family residing in America. Even though their species was pleased and celebrating the fact, Gaijryc couldn’t help but feel remorse for the race that had once thrived here. His kept his feelings to himself, for if his kind ever realized that he, the high-ranking prince of the DarkShine had remorse, he was as good as dead.

The DarkShine were known for their ability to show no fear, for their strength and agility, and for their cunning ability to defeat the enemy. They were an ageless species—one that had been around for centuries.

He stepped up to the thick slice of glass that covered his bedroom window and stared out at the bright sun-kissed ground below. There were many myths about his kind; many lies that only helped them blend in better with the beings around them.

He closed his eyes as he heard his father summon him, his strong voice weaving itself through his mind. Gaijryc made his way down the spiraling staircase that wrapped itself around the upper loft of the mansion. His mother had loved the house when she had seen it, so the previous owners now made food for the others. His stomach churned at the idea of all those innocent humans that had become nothing more than cattle for his family, for his kind.

His outer appearance was that of a strong, virile and ruthless prince—one of the strongest males of his kind that killed without remorse, and whose sexual lust could not be rivalled. He did what he had to do to be what his kind needed, but inside, Gaijryc was a male that needed something more, needed to feel something inside that touched his very soul. Until he found that, he would be what he needed to be, do what he must. Coward as that might be, Gaijryc was the high-ranking prince, the one to take over his father’s place should that time ever come.

He stepped off the marble inlaid steps and walked through the wide double oak doors that led into the grand ballroom. Sitting high above everyone else, his parents’ thrones were like their own beacons of light. His father, King Kristoff, and mother, Queen Castalia, held themselves like the royalty they were. Standing on each side of his parents were his younger twin brothers, Aires and Adais. Their bodies were stiff, their short, pale blond hair and bright blue eyes making them seem innocent and pure, but in reality they were quite the opposite.

By nature they were ruthless and cruel, the epitome of what a DarkShine soldier should be. They couldn’t help it, though; it had been bred into them when they were first born. Gaijryc had been trained the same as them, harder since he was the first born, but the twins lacked any kind of emotion, any kind of feeling. Male and female DarkShine stood before the royal family, and as he walked closer, they parted for him like a hand split them in half.

“You called for me, Father?”

“Ah, Gaijryc, my son, please come up here with your family.”

Gaijryc loved his mother and father, but over the years, he had grown to resent their ways, the way they cared only for themselves, and very little for their kind that they ruled over. He walked up the red carpeted steps and stood between his parents. He looked down at the sea of bodies, the elite society of his kind. The females were in their jewel inlaid gowns, the males in suits ranging from different time periods. Gaijryc watched the faces in front of him, each one of them beautiful in their own exotic and deadly way.

“My son, I have been speaking with the council and it was discussed about you mating a female and producing an heir. Your mother and I would like to step down from the throne soon, and since you are the high-ranking prince, your time to rule is nearing.”

He looked down at his father and grimaced inside. The king spoke the words as if he didn’t remind him about mating a female and producing an heir every day. The fact that he’d spoken with the council about the matter proved that he was growing impatient with Gaijryc, and his failure to produce a grandchild for them.

“We will be having a ball in a months’ time, and any available high ranking DarkShine female will be presented to you for your choosing.”

“Father, I really don’t think that is necessary.”

“Silence! Your mother and I have waited long enough for you to find a female. It is clear you need some assistance in the matter and are well past the age of maturity. You should have mated and have had many offspring by now. This is a gift to you from your mother and I before we retire from the throne.”

He didn’t speak, knowing that his father was furious. He had shown his anger in front of the council and that was proof enough that he was livid over the matter. Gaijryc feared he would have to take a female which he had no feelings for just to appease his father’s wishes. His mother patted his hand and threw a small smile toward him. She might look sweet and innocent, but under that façade was a far more dangerous being. Gaijryc looked down at his polished dress shoes and waited for the meeting to end.

Alone

Two weeks had already passed since Helina had moved into the mountain. She’d figured out how to open the cans without an opener—a jagged rock being the blade while she hammered it into the lid. She had gotten a nasty cut on her hand the first time she tried, and was starting to get worried when it didn’t heal right away. While

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