“You would come willingly with me?” Viviana lifted her fear inducing influence over her, and Clara could again breathe normally and her heart beats began to slow.
“Yes,” Clara lowered her head and walked up to Viviana. “All I ask is that my son be taken care of.”
“How dare you dictate terms to my guest?” Martin lunged at Clara with the clear intent of slapping her.
“Stop,” Viviana’s stare made Martin stop in his tracks. “I will take her.”
“As you wish my lady,” Martin backed away from the pair.
“And further I request that you take care of her child to the best of your ability.” Viviana turned her gaze back over to Clara, and then turned and walked out of the house. “I will expect to see the boy the next time I pass through here, understood?”
“It will be done.” Martin’s words were forced; he was holding back his obvious rage.
“He is after all your nephew,” Viviana’s words stung worse than stepping on a hornet’s nest. Clara turned to him and smiled, she would be dead soon, of that she was sure, so she decided to get in a parting shot.
The women walked outside and entered a covered horse drawn coach. Clara contemplated running but she would never make it to Luther in time, much less get away with him.
“Do you know why I spared you?”
“No miss,” Clara could feel the carriage begin to move.
“You are strong and smart,” Viviana leaned over to her. “I will make you stronger and smarter. I have looked long for my second; I think I have found her in you.”
“Miss,” Clara looked up into her eyes. “I am afraid that I do not understand.”
“If you swear to serve me,” Viviana leaned closer in. “No slave owner will ever tell you what to do ever again.”
“What about my son?”
“He cannot come with you, but we can check in on him once in a while and make sure your brother keeps his word to me.” Viviana was so close to Clara now that their cheeks were almost touching. “If he does not, I will let you exact revenge.”
“Then I swear.”
“Good,” Viviana sunk her fangs into Clara and her world went silent and dark.
For the next 20 years Clara served as a member of the Bloodline known as The Court. Viviana kept her word and Clara learned all that she had promised and more. She learned languages, sciences, mathematics, and they travelled the world, but would always return every five years to check in on Luther. Clara was never allowed to talk to him directly, but over two decades she watched him grow into a man that would have made his father proud.
The Court, as it turned out was a segregated Bloodline. There were two castes within it, the Aristocrat class and the Proletariat class. As a member of the Proletariat class Clara would always have to serve, and she would never be allowed into the upper class. Not quite slavery, but close enough. Every upper class member would pick a second to serve them. These vampires were usually large and strong and often served as bodyguards. These seconds were often used to settle disputes amongst the upper class. Viviana had seen Clara’s strength and taught her the ways of the Bloodline, even though it was strictly forbidden. The Proletariats were meant to only be fodder and expendable. Viviana didn’t care and taught Clara how to use other abilities held by the Bloodline. As it turned out her skills exceeded Viviana’s own. Compared to most members of The Court, Clara’s abilities were vastly superior. Viviana realized her mistake and went before a tribunal to explain her error in judgment. Ultimately, once her instructions were revealed, it cost Viviana her life.
Clara had been prepared for this day, and when she heard the executioners coming for her, she had no choice, and fled into the night. She almost managed to make it to Canada before the band of executioners that was tracking her down found her and trapped her. Unknown to Clara there was another group of vampires also tracking her. The executioners that caught her were mainly a group of Aristocrats, and as they prepared to destroy her, they themselves were attacked. Espee and Claude, and about a dozen others made short work of the executioners and afterwards offered her asylum. She really had no other choice and banded with the very enemies of all formal Bloodlines, she joined the Foundlings. At last she was truly free, but it would not be the last time she would be forced to deal with the Court.