Catalog
69 chapters
Prologue
“Blood type O positive. Donor number XZ-09-2024.” The Master of the Vitalis House tapped a finger on his right temple as the butler servant recited. Sitting on his throne-like chair fronting the grand hall never had been this painful. Parched, very hungry, and almost at his limit, he waited for his servant to finish. The wine flute that contained the delicious crimson liquid was just within his reach. Just. Within. His. Reach. Yet he didn’t move a muscle and just waited for the servant to hand it to him. “Milord, this is the blood that you have been waiting for,” the butler noted, lifting the silver tray nearer. Amidst seeing nothing other than entire darkness in his front, a small smile grew on his lips. “At last,” came his reply and with ease, he straightened in his seat and managed to take out
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Chapter 1 - Crimson Red
The Formula One tires screeched against the asphalt as it swerved to the right of the practice track. Then, the same thing happened when it made a hard turn to the left. It became a known cycle of ear-splitting sound for at least ten minutes - a time most car racers deem lengthy for a test drive. Although it was a cold, gloomy evening, thick, white-to-gray smoke could be seen coming out under the engine of the race car. It wasn’t an alarming sight for the spectators however. No one wasn’t concerned when they knew who drove the said vehicle. They just watched in awe in the sidelines, watched with complete adoration on the driver pulling the shots. After about two laps of run, the race car finally stopped directly in its inspection area and out came the one who did it all: a woman, wearing a black full-face helmet and loose jumpsuit of red and white. The NASCAR mechanics call her, “The Empress Hand, &rdqu
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Chapter 2 - Aching Fangs
“Cord, your lip is bleeding.”   A white-haired man informed, staring at the sliced bottom lip with worry. He inched forward and took out a handkerchief from his jacket in the hopes of wiping the dripping blood from the Master’s chin but he only waved him off.   “No, leave it, ” the Master answered as if he saw his right-hand’s intent. Blood continued to trickle down his chin and because of that, he swiped a finger along it and licked clean the sticking liquid with his tongue. “My fangs are behaving badly. Shit, it wants to sink in that woman’s flesh.”   “Hmm, you had already restrained yourself for many a year, why break that now? What changed?” the man stepped down the dais, tucked back his handkerchief inside his jacket and lowered his body to sit in a sofa provided for him.   “What changed is that woman’s blood, Calvin. She is the owner of those blood bags I crave so much, ” Cord’s tongue darted o
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Chapter 3 - Becoming A Witness
Cord burst into his study, unable to take it anymore. Why did he tell the woman that? He had no obligation to explain himself to her, yet he did and rather too honestly! He gripped the head of his cane and threw it on the floor, the action of which made a loud metal thunk and then a smash of a glass he most thought from the vase next to his work desk. Owing it to his ability of hypersense and how he knew of the castle spaces by heart, he crossed the unlit room and shoved the thick curtain aside. Contrary to what the humans believed, the Vitalis Master, him, wasn’t even burned by the sunlight when it contacted his skin. The light unsettled him though, being that he was too attached with the shadows, but the discomfort wasn’t enough to halt him from approaching the casement window. Although he couldn’t see, he sensed that the woman and her friend were leaving via the car he had arranged. He felt the boili
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Chapter 4 - Enigmatic Eyes
Two days passed with Amanda having the same routine. She worked on the three Formula Ones for the grand race to be held on the second week. She was together with the other mechanics of her stepfather focusing on the wiring, engine performance and the fluidity of the run. Matteo as usual drove her home while Noman, nursing two more hangovers, entertained her with his set of Originals and The Tudors DVD. On the third day, she, having preregistered in an international mountain climbing club back in New Zealand, traveled to the province’s highest mountain with Noman and Matteo tagging along. This was one of her most awaited activities during her stay in the country. “Alright, we are here, ” announced the athletic, dreadlock-haired Club leader, Kenneth. They left the van in a clearing surrounded by many trees and shrubbery some distance away and trekked in a narrow rocky path to where they stood now - in fro
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Chapter 5 - The First Dinner
“Mr. Vitalis!” Amanda’s eyes rounded. A surge of something that could be called a mix of alarm and excitement filled her whole body. Goosebumps erupted in her forearms and unconsciously, she pressed her personal bag closer against her abdomen in an attempt to halt the twisting of her stomach. She didn’t expect someone to be inside the limousine with her, more so she didn’t expect him to be the one sitting. Cord, though still in a blindfold, looked at her way like it was a casual thing for a blind man. With his left hand, he squeezed the handle of his cane when her scent filled the enclosed space. It tortured him immediately but he had already expected this when he decided to fetch her himself. It was a torture he was willing to receive forever, or at least while his charade lasts. “Good evening Amanda, ” he stated, managing his voice to c
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Chapter 6 - Trespassing Her Chamber
“Com’n, tell me where you’re staying now.” Amanda heard Noman whine through the earpiece. She was comfortably lying belly down in front of the laptop screen while the Skype app was turned on. The first thing she did after leaving the dining hall was for her to get in touch with her bestfriend as was agreed. She needed someone to talk to, needed an outlet to vent out her frustration on the turn of events and he was the perfect person for it. “I can’t, ” she shook her head. “You know I can’t. The Chief briefed me not to.” “Ugh, at least open your video feed so that I’ll see you’re not in some shady house.” Amanda watched her friend make a puppy face through the video screen. This was one of Noman’s backup card in order to make someone do his bidding. Apparently, it was working with her. She sm
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Chapter 7 - Honeysuckle Sweet
Amanda woke up early the next morning feeling refreshed. With her night clothes on, she stood up and neared the French door of the balcony. The outside showed the cheerful sky of light blue and yellow-orange. She inhaled deeply and smiled. She maybe in the witness protection program, but that didn’t mean she can’t tour the castle grounds freely. Taking an early bath was the first step to it so she did that in a classy bathroom accessible just a few strides away from the bed. By the time she finished and exited with a towel wrapped around her body, breakfast was already laid in the coffee table, the bedroom door was open, the thick curtains were drawn to the sides, and the early morning light shone through. There was a new maid busily fixing her bedding, but she seemed to be immersed with the rock music in her headphones. “Uh, good morning?” Amanda stated, standing near the bat
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Chapter 8 - Tension and Temptations Rising
To Amanda, the contact of their bodies, though brief, felt like acid and fire. Of the good and bad kind. Bad - because she swore she felt like he was killing her with his touch. Bled and dried. Tortured and stolen of her essence. Good - because she felt herself complete. Revived. Replenished of energy. Her nerve endings felt charged with a desirable electricity - an electricity that she could well be addicted too. And because of these conflicts inside her, she realized that staying in the Vitalis Castle could be more dangerous than being chased by drug lords and loan sharks. She needed to leave the place ASAP, but how will she explain this to Chief Moretti then? She can’t say that the Master of the House just threatened to tie her up in the pillar. That’s just too embarrassing of a reason. She might have the Chief think they were experimenting BDSM. 
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Chapter 9 - Tasting the Flesh
Right after dinner, Amanda positioned her laptop in the mattress just like what she did last night. Noman was the first to pop in complete with a clear video feed of him in a moon-printed shirt. He waved a ‘hi’ on her way and Amanda returned a ‘hello’ back. Just as he was about to start his daily interrogations about her experiences in the castle, Matteo’s number flashed on her cellphone screen, registered as his eleventh attempt of call for the day. Amanda sighed and picked up the gadget lying next to the laptop. “I better take this call, Dom. I have been ignoring Matt since this morning, ” she said while sitting in her mattress, Indian style. Noman nodded. “Yeah, you should. I’ll just wait. I won’t log-out.” Amanda pressed the answer button and right then and there, Matteo’s worried but stiff voice flowed.
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