Prelude

She sat on the edge of the barren cliff, watching anxiously as the line of pink grew on the horizon. Even though she had repeated this ritual for what was now the hundredth time, she knew well the sting the rising sun would bring to her night-sensitive eyes- eyes that had known only the darkness of the nights. But as she had for so many mornings now, she stretched out her arms and let the first rays of day wash over her, hardly flinching at the pain that coursed through her whole body. She knew- as all fledgling vampires knew- that she should be resting now, conserving as much energy as she could to devote to the night's hunt. Unlike most of her kin however, Gabriella Tomlin preferred instead to feed as little as possible on the innocent. Even then she felt tainted, and the oily taste of evil doers never really satisfied her. She was forced- at least once a week- to feed exclusively on the innocent, an act that left her feeling full but guilty. So the pain she felt at first light was a welcome feeling, the one thing that washed away her guilt. As she turned to return to the city, Gabriella felt the last of the pain fade away and smiled.