A/N: Please, tell me if you liked it, didn't like it. I really want to know what you think no matter how harsh.

2

Nice to Meet You, Now Go to Hell!

I was walking down the hall with Amory. She was explaining to me what a beach was like, even though she couldn't go to the tropical ones that we'd seen on TV at least she got to see the ocean. I was ecstatic to have a pond in my backyard. The closest lake was by Black Manor, so like childhood ghost stories of hunted houses, we all naturally stayed away from it like its curse had tainted the lake as well.

"Wet sand is so cool against your skin," she awed in memory. "And you can build things out of it."

I blinked in confusion. "Like what?"

"Castles, not big castles but little model form ones like doll houses," she tried to explain. "And some kids bury each other in it."

I gasped, "Why?"

"Don't freak out! It's just for fun."

"Burying someone is fun?"

"Our ancestors used to sleep in coffins, Ember. Your parents need to ease up a bit on you and let you have a life," she bickered. "Something more than this," she said spinning her hand in a wide circle in the air that was supposed to capture the school. "A lot of vampires survive around humans. I'm living in that world once I graduate from here."

"Temptation," I murmured. "I don't want to hurt humans like Adei… or any of them. But that's how we are."

"Humans die, sweetie, a lot faster than we do. We are the perfect breed and they're merely the food source."

"That's cruel. I'm sure your ancestor that chose a mortal as his bride wouldn't agree with you. That was about love and not blood."

"Yes, and he ruined the line," she muttered. "Just like yours." She frowned and touched the cold collar around my neck. "You'll be a prisoner your whole life, dear Ember."

"I'm happy, Amory," I promised her. "I have to—" I gasped when I felt a jolt inside of me, but the others felt it too. It was as if we'd all be zapped by something at the time and we could smell the electricity in the air.

Amory and I clustered closer together, protectively of one another as we shifted over to the lockers. It was thick like an invisible mass of pressure had been set on my chest. Then I caught that seductive scent that was rich with ancient time and power. It made me salivate and my venom flow. Amory and I were squeezing each other's hands, getting the same rush as I'm sure the others were experiencing. Then it settled like the calm before the storm.

One on the seniors hissed out of instinct towards the gymnasium door. Another stood by him, waiting for the same invisible predator that lurked beyond the door.

With a small CLICK of the door, all of us that stood in the hall faced forward and stared onward. There were seven of them, five boys and two girls. All of them walked with swagger as if they owned the world, and with their carriage you wouldn't doubt it. They all had raven black hair that was long, even the boys had it tied back behind their shoulders in a neat pony tail. Beyond gorgeous so that your eye could never stray away from them and the attention made their smug smiles deepen.

Purebloods.

The guy and girl at the front of the pact were hand in hand. You could tell by the great resemblance that the seven of them were related, possibly brothers and sisters, too close to be cousins. Behind the first two stood three, one was off by himself while the another guy and girl clutched hands. Twins. Without a doubt I knew that. You could taste the energy between them and when one looked so did the other, always perfectly in sync. Then falling in the back were two more boys, younger than the others. And they did seem to declining in age as they went down the line.

"Prowl," one of the senior boys sneered.

"What's such trash doing in La Dona?" another, named Alec Siege, muttered to him.

The one in front stopped abruptly. He let go of his sister's hand and walked towards Alec, who was standing calmly by his locker. The other boys followed him leaving the two girls where they were. Some of Alec's brothers and cousins went to stand by him, making their group far larger than Prowl.

"Pardon me," the oldest Prowl said, "but have we met before?"

"Why would I want to meet a parasite like you?" Alec grinned.

The youngest Prowl that had stood in the back licked his lips. "I taste fear, Pride," he purred.

Alec glared at him.

The first Prowl chuckled to his brother, but replied to Alec, "I was merely curious because you speak as you know of my siblings and me."

Alec snorted, "One pig is the same as another."

My classmates began to laugh hysterically. While all of the Prowl's eyes widened, except for the one that had stood beside the twins. He remained unfazed and expressionless. Then in a flash, he gripped Alec by his hair and slammed his face into a locker before ramming it down into his knee. Blood erupted into the air when the Prowl dropped him to the floor.

"Now Wrath," Pride shamed him humouredly. "Father asked us to treat these… imperfections kindly. Why don't you help the poor Siege up?"

Wrath reached down, grabbed Alec by his white jacket that was now stained in his own blood, and shoved him back into the lockers for his brothers to catch him. "I hope you see the error of your ways," Wrath said to him as he walked on.

One of the younger Prowl boys dipped his finger in the blood that puddle the floor and licked his finger clean before spitting it out again. "Figures," he muttered in disappointment.

"Gluttony," Pride hissed.

Gluttony hissed back at him.

Pride went back to his sister and laced his fingers with hers again, kissing the back of her hand. "Forgive me for leaving you behind," he whispered to her. But even in a hush, my delicate ears picked it up.

"Forgotten," she said and held close to his arm.

The twins linked hands again and the rest fell back in formation and started to walk on in my direction that led to the office. I gripped Amory's hand tighter as they moved past us, but one of them stopped. Wrath. He shifted out of the way of his younger siblings and turned around and came back to me and Amory. He moved closely in front of her first, slamming his hand flat to the lockers beside her face just to see her jump. Her nails dug so deeply into my palm that she was drawing blood, and Wrath didn't miss it.

Wrath slid his hand off of the lockers and steadied his gaze on me. With a single look at Amory, she moved and left me there alone with my hand still reaching where she had let go. Wrath took it instead; his hands so much colder than mine that it made me shiver. I pressed my back harder to the lockers when he started to close the distance between us. His fingers traced the lines of my collar, but still he never smiled or shown a single shred of emotion, only curiosity lingered in his eyes as he observed the collar.

When I whimpered quietly in fear of him he began to smile a little, amused. I screwed my eyes shut and turned my head to the side when he lifted his hand to touch my face. I shrank down a little, scared of being hit or anything else, but his nail trailed lightly over my skin. It was enough to cut me, but not enough to hurt. Then the coolness of his tongue stroked my cheek.

I'm betrothed, but this doesn't feel nearly as horrible and disgusting as it should.

Why was I relishing under his touch? It was almost painful trying to convince myself that it didn't feel as wonderful as it did. My fingers ached to touch him back to bring him into just to make it last a little longer, just to hold onto that kind of supernatural connection.

But he's not touching me. I realized that for moments, seconds had passed and he was a hovering distance, terribly close but not touching. I turned my head to meet his eyes that seemed to know so much, seen so many things that were beyond my realm of understanding.

"They say blood is binding," he whispered to me. "That one drop, if it's strong, flourishes and becomes a part of you. That there is no greater gift, that even the Father himself gave His for the sake of His children. Yet we take and take and take," with every word he moved in closer, his breath chilling my cheek.

I watched him bring his finger to his mouth and bit down. The scent of his wintry flow dispersed into the air dizzying me. I felt like I was drunk on rich, fragrant wine and needed to fall into his arms for some stability. My lips parted and I followed the movement of his finger that had healed and held a single ruby red drop. He looked amused as I ached for a taste, clutching the chest of his black coat to keep from hitting my knees as I leaned against him. He licked his finger with the tip of his tongue and I reached up, both of our mouths about to collide.

A gust of wind separated us and I snapped out of the seductive trip… no not wind, but Armaan, who had rushed into Wrath and sent him into a wall. Dust from the old brick drizzled onto the floor as Wrath slid half way down the wall, regaining control, and standing erect again. It was like those old horror movies I watched on TV where it didn't matter how fast you ran, they could walk and still get you, or many times you shot him, he'd stand up again.

Armaan braced himself in front of me and I fisted the back of his white and black pinstriped shirt. The rest of the students were still as they watched Wrath clean the blood from his bottom lip to reveal a demonic grin. His eyes were fixed on Armaan, the obstacle only enticed his interest.

"You've been given strict guidelines," Armaan said through his teeth, furiously.

Wrath held up his hand to his brothers as they were about to come his way. He stared only at me as he spoke to Armaan, "Simply a misunderstanding."—Armaan shifted to get Wrath to look at him—"It's Prowl custom to greet ladies with a kiss."—he returned his sight to me again—"A kind of 'hello' you might say."

"When you're in La Dona, you go in accordance with our customs."

Wrath dipped his head in respect, "As you wish." Though the mocking smirk he kept didn't coincide with the remark or the gesture. He straightened and rejoined his brothers and sisters, disappearing around the corner to the office.

Amory rushed over to me, wrapping me in her thin, long arms. "I'm so sorry, Ember," she cried. "But one second he looked at me and the next thing I knew was that I was over there."

I was still longing on to where he last was, memorizing that last step he had taken. Armaan blocked that spot though, and I shook the thought out of my head and stared up at him. Armaan took me by the wrist and towed me back to his classroom, locking the door behind him. He sat me down in a chair and knelt on the floor in front of me with his hands on my shoulders.

"Ember darling, are you alright?" he asked, his voice filled with worry.

I swallowed, closed my eyes, and nodded to reassure him. "Yes Armaan, I'm fine. He didn't hurt me or anything. But I…," my voice trailed when I couldn't wrap my head around what happened. "Why me?" There were so many other girls that were prettier than me or were more important or within closer range.

Armaan had a sad smile as he stroked my collar. "I'm sure it's this. Prowl's love a challenge, things they can't have, you know that."

I've been told that.

"You really think that's it?" I asked him.

He nodded and brushed his lips against where I'd been cut. I wasn't sure how he knew, perhaps he didn't. I looped my arms around his neck, hugging him and burying my face in his shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Armaan. I didn't mean to," I sobbed.

"Shh…," he hushed me gently. "Magic isn't your fault, and they possess a lot." He held my face in his hands and looked at me with grave seriousness. "Don't trust any of them, understood? Prowls are selfish, blood hungry savages. Everything is for their benefit and no one else's."

I nodded quickly just to hug him again.

"Do you want to go home?" he quietly asked as he held me there. "I can excuse you for the rest of the day."

"No," I said softly, not moving back from him. "I'll be fine. Thank you."

"If you're sure," he said, carefully reading my face.

I made myself smile for him; even a little effort would be enough to appease him. He kissed both of my hands and stood up again. When he went back to the door and held it open for me, he was back in "Armaan the Professor" mode.

"You'll be late for study hall," he said.

I got up from the chair and left the room.

We saw the Prowls periodically through the day. They'd walk through classes unannounced and the little ones would tip things over, and Pride would shame them with a humored laugh. Whenever I caught a glimpse of Wrath I held my books tighter to my chest and stared in the opposite direction, but not once had I caught his eyes looking at me again. He appeared to be jaded and uninterested now, tired.

Amory sat across the table from me at lunch while Damien took the spot next to me. He probably wanted inside information about what happened with our unwelcomed invited guests, who were sitting at a table of their own at the far end of the cafeteria.

"What was it like?" he asked.

I shook my head, "I don't know." It was embarrassing to say that I wanted to drink his blood and was willing to kiss him just for a taste.

"Well, you talked to Armaan. What did he say?" he asked then, unpleased with my answer.

"Um…," I ventured off as my eyes drifted over to their table.

Pride and his sister that he pretty much refused to let go of were feeding from one another. She locked onto the base of his neck while he looped his arm around her waist to keep her close. He had her wrist to his mouth her diamond ring shining even in the dim light, occasionally releasing it to lick his lips and her wound.

The twins were feeding from each other's wrists. The girl also possessed a ring on her finger, much similar to her sister's. Then the two, little were nipping and biting at each other, not knowing how to give and receive at the same time. Wrath smacked the youngest hand, tired of them fighting.

"Enough Sloth," he said sternly.

Sloth stared at Gluttony then back at Wrath with a pouting lower lip. Wrath tousled his hair and brought him onto his lap, pushing his sleeve up. Sloth sank his teeth in his brother's forearm. Gluttony inched closer and took Wrath's wrist and biting down.

It was hard to watch, hard to understand. If sharing blood, being bitten was so wrong, then why didn't they see it that way? They were caring for each other, still giving out of love.

But it's not about love, is it? They're deceiving creatures. We're not supposed to understand why they do what they do.

Wrath was breathing unsteadily the more his young siblings drew from him. "Gluttony, no more," he said. Gluttony took another gulp before letting go. He then went to Sloth and pried his jaw off of Wrath's forearm.

Sloth smacked his lips, looking completely refreshed again as he followed along after Gluttony. Wrath continued to take deep breaths as he went over to the female twin.

"Envy?" he asked

"I'm exhausted, Wrath," she answered with her twin still latched to her, kissing his wrist in apology. "Greed's been so parched, and we won't get to feed till late tonight. Forgive me?"

"Forgotten," he replied with a tired smile and sat down again.

I could read the guilt on her face like it was an obligation to give to Wrath, yet she only pulled Greed tighter to her. Wrath looked older than the two of them, clearly not the oldest or even the second oldest. In regular traditions the oldest brother would be paired with the oldest sister and so on and so forth. I wondered if Wrath was supposed to be with Envy, but having a twin made her less submissive or giving to him.

Wrath asked from no one else but her, and her refusal left him with nothing to say. None of the others offered him nourishment, despite how much it pained them to see him so drained.

This is insanity.

"Ember? Ember, did you hear me?" Amory asked.

"Huh, what?" I asked trying to think if I picked up anything she'd said. I couldn't resist turning back to the alien cluster of them. "Shouldn't we give him something?"

Damien gawked at me. "I couldn't have heard that right. Why do you care if a Prowl's starving?"

"The fact that he's starving," I remarked bitterly to show that I honestly didn't care. "We have our humans to worry about. I'm not willing to let harm come to Adei just because no one wants to go near them."

"Then you do it," Amory said and raised her eyebrow, "You got a thing for him, don't you?"

"No!" I snarled at the accusation. "I'm worried about Adei and the others."

Damien shrugged, "Go do it then." He was challenging me with his eyes and assumed that fear would get the better of me and I wouldn't go through with it.

I glowered at the both of them and got up from the table. Within the cooler stashed in the kitchen were bags full of plasma. I sighed and got out all the jitters as I ripped open a bag and poured it into a glass. I rolled my shoulders back and took in another deep, deep breath before I pushed the double doors back open and reentered the cafeteria.

I moved briskly over to the Prowl's table and set the glass down on the table top close to Wrath. All of them were staring at me, but Wrath on stared at the glass. He took it in his hand and sniffed it, then gazed up at me as my timid eyes fell from his.

"What's this for?" he asked me.

"Blood," I said in confusion, and stared back at him. "You're thirsty, aren't you?"

"This is supposed to satisfy me?" he asked, amused.

I didn't answer as he rose to his feet making him directly in front of me. Our eyes were focused on each other until the cold liquid ran down my blouse and my eyes began to bulge. Wrath dropped the empty glass and let it shatter on the floor.

He took another step closer and spoke only loud enough for me to hear, "You give blood to me properly or don't give at all." With that he walked off without another word or look from his siblings.

All the while I stood there frozen in place with blood dripping down my white uniform. Okay, I really hate Prowls.

A/N: Please don't forget to post a review and tell me what you think. This is one that I'm not sure whether I should continue perusing so a little feedback would be appreciated.