VJ 12

“Right this way sir.”

It's the middle of the day. It's not rare that Nero send Sinclair for me but it is rare that he send for me in the middle of the day. What's even more rare is I'm not meeting Nero in his bedroom like usual. We are going to the royal study. It is a room at the very top of the imperial palace. After 10 staircases I feel my breath getting away with me. You would think by now Eden would have elevators but I'm sure the architects wanted to keep that old Italy feel going on.

Sinclair opens the door and I walk inside.

“Sir I've brought Santos as you asked,” Sinclair says.

“Good. Santos. Come...sit.”

I'm a little concerned. This was way too formal. I'm not the only one in the room. The first person I see is Coco and almost immediately I know what this is about.

Three days ago Coco asked me to have my child. In exchange she wanted the child to be named as the heir to the throne. When I told her that I'd think about it she didn't take it well. When I see Coco sitting with Nero now the first thing that I can think is that she went behind my back.

“Coco came to meet me,” Nero explains, “Told me about your deal.”

My heart races. Nero had not yet discovered that Justice was dead. I still hadn't told him what my father told me. I still hadn't told him that Justice was gone for good. The fact that Nero doesn't know makes this sound like some sort of plot.

Then there is Coco sitting there smiling as though she really accomplished something. I'm annoyed by her. I should have known everyone had a motive in Eden.

“I never agreed to anything.”

“Well maybe it's time you agree now,” Nero explains, “Because I think it would be a good idea.”

I'm confused.


Coco is sitting in the seat next to me. She is smiling. Maybe she has accomplished something after all. I'm confused as I looked at her.

“King Nero was just telling me how he would love for me to have a child for the two of you and he also agreed that the child would be the heir,” Coco tells me.

Nero is looking at me as though I should be happy about this. A part of me is happy about it. I'm shocked and surprised that Nero agreed to this so quickly. I'm blown away.

“Nero...you and I aren't even married yet. Why would my child be your heir?”

“Be realistic,” Nero explains, “It's only a matter of time.”

“You're married to someone else.”

“Not for long,” Nero explains, “I'm having the marriage annulled.”

Nero wasn't having a divorce. He was having the marriage annulled as though the marriage never existed. The idea of finally being rid of King Aiden was something that I think I could definitely get behind. That part excited me. The only problem with all of this was Justice.

I can't hold my feelings back. Before I know it I'm looking at the desk. There is paperwork there. An agreement. I can tell. Eden loves their agreements. As I look down at the paperwork a knot grows in my stomach.

“Isn't this what you want?” Coco explains, “I'll sign the child over to you as soon as I have it. Nero and you can raise the child. All I want is that the child be named heir.”

“I can't do that to Justice.”

I couldn't do this to his memory. Armando told me that Justice was dead but I saw no body. Even if he was dead it was still so fresh to be plotting to replace him. This all just seemed wrong and even though Coco is right I wanted this at one point things changed. Nero had an heir already. A long time ago I would have loved to raise a child with Nero. I would have loved to have my child take over his father's place. You don't always get what you want.

“We all know that Justice is dead by now,” Coco states.

“COCO!” I scream at the top of my lungs.

She's always been like that. She just cared about her own intentions and never really cared about the feelings of everyone else. Justice's father was right here and she was just announcing what she thought everyone in Eden was feeling without even thinking about him.

“It's ok,” Nero explains, “It's been a while. The Thirsts don't kidnap. If it took Justice away it took him away to kill him.”

“No one knows for sure that the Thirst took him away.”

Nero looks over at me, “Are you saying someone else took Justice?”

My mind goes straight to Armando. What if Armando had kidnapped Justice? What if he was behind all of this. I want to tell Nero what I think but there is still a part of me that wants to protect Armando. Regardless of what he does Armando is still my father. That is something that I just can't do so quickly.

So instead of ratting out Armando I just shrug.

“Are you really ready to let Justice go?” I ask.

Nero shakes my head, “No. I'll never be ready. I failed as a father. Instead of showing Justice love I treated him like Arie treated me. He was a prince before he was my son. I can't take that back but I can be different with our child. This is a chance for me to really raise someone right. And I know if the two of us do it together this child will grow up feeling loved. Isn't that what we want for the next king or queen of Eden?”

Nero is rubbing my hands.


“So sign the paper...” Coco tells me, “This is the agreement that I had drafted. You and Nero get the baby and the baby gets the throne.”

I look over at Nero. He's so certain he wants this.

And isn't this what I always wanted? I always wanted a family with Nero.

I take a deep breath and I sign the agreement.

“Now...take off your clothes,” Coco states.


I look over at Coco. She gets up from her seat.

“Listen. You two have to fuck and I'll finish you off.”

“Finish him off? Wait...we can do artificial insemination,” Nero explains.

“This child is going to rule Eden. It won't be created in a test tube,” Coco explains, “I refuse to get pregnant that way. King Nero did you artificially inseminate Justice's mother?”

Nero stops.

He looks over at me, “Only if you're OK with this.”

My heart is racing. This was huge. This was really big. I signed the agreement though. I said I agreed to it. I had to do it.


“Well you guys can do your thing and just let me know when you're close...and I'll finish the job,” Coco states.

“Can't you...I don't know...wait outside?” I explain.

“I won't have time. Besides. This is business. It's not like I'm going to get excited watching two sexy ass male vampires have sex right in front of me. You know?”

Coco lets out a sneaky smile.

“Lets just do it. She has a point. I want my child to come into this world the most natural way,” Nero explains.

Nero takes off his shirt at that moment. He stands there in all his glory defying me not to be sexually attracted to him. It's hard not to be. Almost immediately my dick is hard in the chair. I turn to my right and notice Coco. She has on a dress and I watch as she crosses her legs tightly as she peers at Nero's chest. It's clear that she's turned on. She's damn near dripping in her seat.

And she's dripping for good reason. Nero is...sexy as fuck.

“You should take everything off,” Coco tells Nero but adds in relatively quickly, “It'll...you know...help Santos.”

“Can you please not tell me how to have sex with my boyfriend?” Nero tells her.

“Sure. I'll just slip these right off. You know. Quick access...”

Coco takes off her panties from underneath her rather tight dress. I have to admit it takes some sort of skill for her to take them off so quickly. Her panties drop to the ground and she stares intently at Nero studying every vein, muscle and cut in his amazing chest.

“Can you...just not say anything?” Nero asks her.

Coco tightens her lip, “I'm not even here.”

“Nothing Coco. Seriously,” Nero tells her.

It's hard for me not to see Coco in the room. Nero pulls down the blinds and shuts off the lights though. And he turns on a lamp. He pulls me towards the table casting shadows on Coco. I can barely see that she's in the room in the darkness. As Nero approaches me his body reflects the light of the lamp. He's taken off his pants and then his underwear. Nero is completely naked in front of me and the light from the lamp shines all over his body.

Nero leans over my chair and begins kissing me. His tongue is soft. I can feel the awkwardness though as Coco is watching. I can feel her close by. I can still see her shadow. I can hear her breathing harder and harder. I know she's there and I can't even focus on him kissing me.

“Are you OK?” Nero asks me.

“Just. Nervous.”

It's not just Coco. It was all of it. This was the first step in Nero and me making our family. Nero was still married. A part of me wants to tell him maybe we should wait until he gets the annullment but then I feel like if I don't do this now I probably won't ever get the chance. There was so many things I wanted to do with Nero before I was put in the ground. I thought I had forever. We were immortal after all. I was wrong.

This time I didn't want to be wrong.

Nero leans over to me. His lips press up against the side of my cheek, “It's just you and me in here. Ok baby. It's just me and you in here.”

Him whispering that to me makes me feel so much better.

Nero goes to his desk. He sits on it. He stares at me with those silver eyes. His perfect body is glistening in the lamplight. His thick dick is pointed towards the sky calling for me.

“Come ride me daddy...until you nut.”

When he says that I completely forget about Coco. I could care less if she's there or not. My pants come down first and I go to my man. I face away from him letting my back fall onto his chest. Slowly I lower myself on his dick. I don't even need any lube. I don't need any spit. My ass is so wet just from looking at his sexy body. His dick is precumming. It's almost like our bodies were ready for one another.

I ride him slowly up and down. Up and down. My body tightens around his dick. He licks at the back of my neck, then at the side of my neck then turns my head so he can slowly suck on my tongue. As I ride him his fingers get to my dick.

“God that feels so good...”

As I bounce on his dick I can feel it in my stomach. He fills me up. There is a pleasurable pain as Nero fucks me. He thrusts up as I push down. Each stroke it's like we are two worlds colliding into each other. He goes all the way inside of me and I pull all the way out only to collide into each other. His wet dick makes my ass moisten and my heart beast fast.

I grab his hand at that moment and all of a sudden I'm taking his hand and guiding him to beat my dick faster and faster.

Slow...we don't want to waste the nut,” he tells me.

I had almost forgotten why we were here. I remove my hand and allow him to jack me off. The pleasure is so deep that my mouth opens up. I'm panting. I'm struggling for air and he's watching me with those beautiful silver eyes of his.

And almost as though he can't resist he starts kissing me taking advantage of my open mouth to stick his tongue down my throat.

The hard strokes and the slow tender kissing sends shivers down my body.

Someone else is moaning.

It's Coco. I'm sure in the darkness she's doing something of her own as she reacts to us making love. I could care less though. I'm way too far gone to give a fuck that she's there though.

Nero is making me feel like I'm alone in this room. He's making me feel like I'm alone in this world! He's worships my body. One hand on my dick. The other hand slowly tickling my nipples. His thrusts are getting deeper and deeper. His fangs are slowly cutting into the side of my neck. I can feel my body tremble over him.

“I'm about to cum! I'm about to cum!” I'm screaming as he methodically rubs my cock.

That's when Coco comes out of the shadows. Her dress is hiked up above her waist. Her vagina is dripping.

“Wait for me...”


Two weeks have passed.

“This is the big day,” Coco tells me.

She's excited. Two weeks ago after the sex with Coco. I assume that we should have done it more than once but Coco tells me she has a good feeling about it. She says the one time was enough plus she doesn't know how Nero would feel about sharing me again. With that I can agree with her. Nero is a jealous lover and I don't see him wanting us to have that threesome situation again.

I should have been excited but honestly the thought that I was betraying Justice didn't leave my mind. It's been over a month now and everyone just assumed that Justice was dead. The “Find Justice” chant in the streets had died down with a lot of other things.

“Would you like me to come with you?”

“No...you should be getting ready for the gala,” Coco explains.

The Halloween Masquerade was coming up. It was the biggest holiday in Eden. Everyone was beyond excited about it. The reason that Coco was in my bedroom now was to help me get ready for it.

“That's not important,” I respond, “I think a kid takes priority.”

“Actually no. The Halloween Masquerade is the time of the year. Everyone who is everyone is going to be there. You know what that means,” Coco tells me, “You want to help me with this pregnancy...secure your marriage to Nero.”

“Nero is not going to ask me to marry him at the masquerade.”

“You so sure?” Coco asks me.

“His marriage to Aiden isn't even annulled yet,” I assure Coco.

Coco's once happy face shifts a little a bit. She looks worried.

“What's taking so long?”

“I don't know.”

“Well maybe once I get tested news that I'm pregnant will hurry that process along,” Coco states.

I give Coco a hard stare, “No news. Even if you are pregnant we want to keep this private.”

“Are you sure because Lucca says he has a good way outlet with the media for me to announce my pregnancy for you and Nero.”

“Coco. Please tell me you didn't tell Lucca you were trying to have a child for Nero and I.”

Coco gives me a hard look. I can't believe her. Her silence at that moment says it all. Lucca has been trying to reach out to me ever since Aiden let it be known that he really wanted to take the throne from Nero and marry Arie.

“Lucca says the Axis of Evil is going to act...before the masquerade.”

“Axis of Evil?”

“Aiden, Milan and Arie,” she tells me, “That's what Lucca is calling them. He says it's sticky. Even people in the media are starting to call them that.”

I had no idea they had a nickname. Lucca had been leading back to back propoganda against Aiden. In the meanwhile he had also been trying to build me up. If this was coming from anyone else I would probably be grateful but Lucca was a snake. You didn't keep snakes near you.

“I can't believe you trusted him,” I tell Coco shaking my head, “He turned his back on me before. He turned his back on you before. Lucca has no loyalty to anyone but himself.”

“Don't you think I know that? He wants revenge. And I say let him do it. People are actually liking you since your trial. I don't want to sound like the bearer of bad news...but you weren't very popular before Lucca started shaping your image.”

Coco may be right. It's tough to agree with her especially when it came to Lucca but he'd been helping me more than he'd been hurting me.

“No. There is enough tension with Aiden. Let's do this the right way,” I tell Coco.

Coco hesitates, “Fine.”


“I said fine,” she replies, “But what if something happens to Nero before he gets the marriage annulled? What if he doesn't name my unborn child the heir?”

“Nothings going to happen to Nero.”

She sighs at that moment, “You must not know how far a desperate vampire would go.”

Coco leaves me with that but all I can think about was that she may have a point. She may have a fucking point about all of this and that seems to scare the shit out of me.

The Masquerade ball is everything that I thought it would be.

The ball is held at a grand ballroom on the outskirts of the city in a building called St. Augustine's Basilica. It's a huge ballroom and everyone is dressed in costumes that they probably took years to come up with. Everyone who is everyone is there. I arrive a little bit late. I do it on purpose. The less time I could be at this ball the better. If Nero hadn't invited me then I probably wouldn't have wanted to come at all. When I arrive at the ball I am searching for Nero or at least Coco. I want anyone that I can recognize.

There are huge colonnades with Doric columns as I enter the hall. The focal point of the room is a large statue of King Arie in gold with a raised sword pointed towards the heavens. The steps that lead to the dance floor show vampire precision and beauty as the sharpness of the marble has been polished past anyone's ideal.

“A devil. How fitting.”

The voice is one that I don't want to hear. I turn around to see Aiden standing there. He has Milan with him. The twins both have half masks on that are black and capes. I realize they are referring to my red mask.

They approach me and immediately I just feel my heart get into my chest. At first I can't tell the difference between the two but after a second of seeing how they stare at me I know immediately the difference. Milan always looks at me with this hatred. It is this deep seeded hatred which lets me know he still blames me for the death of his lover over 100 years ago.

“You have a way of stealing the show,” Aiden notices crossing his arms.

“I didn't come here for trouble.”

“You shouldn't have come here at all,” Milan states.

“I was invited.”

The two laugh at that moment. There is something off about them. Ever since the trial I hadn't seen much of Aiden or Milan or even Arie for that matter. I could only imagine the shit that they were up to. The idea of calling them the Axis of Evil was actually spot on. All they did nowadays was sit around and think of ways to get rid of me.

“You were invited by a fool who doesn't know how to lose,” Milan states.

“Are you referring to King Nero as a fool?” I ask.

“And what if I was?”

“Milan. You've seen first hand what I'm capable of when I get upset...” I state, “Do you want to really see me upset?”

I take a few steps towards him. Milan isn't a fool. He takes a few steps back at that moment. He looks scared to death and it's Aiden who puts his hands out at that moment.

“Everyone relax. Ok?” Aiden states, “We aren't your enemy Santos.”

“Speak for yourself,” Milan tells his brother.

I laugh and cross my arms, “Relax Aiden. I won't murder your brother. Not in Eden...not when people are just starting to actually like me. Haven't you heard?”

“Lucca's been busy,,” Aiden acknowledges, “Do you think that will make a difference though Santos? Do you think people finally warming up to you will make a difference at the end of the day? You're still the son of Lilith, Santos. In the end we all know what has to happen.”

Milan may have hated me but it's Aiden I was worried about.

He has this strange look on his face.

“What are you talking about? What is going to happen?”

“I don't want anyone to get hurt. You hear me? I really do care about you Santos. Just have Nero step down. The two of you can go live in the outskirts of Eden. I'll have a castle built just for the two of you. I'll rule with King Arie and nothing will have to happen. I don''t want to break Nero.”

“You're threatening him! You're threatening him...”

I grab Aiden by the throat. He doesn't even fight back. He lets me grab him. In fact Aiden seems to welcome it. He's smiling. I want to rip that fucking smile right off his fucking face. Who the fuck did he think he was threatening Nero right in front of my face. Did he think I wouldn't kill for Nero? Did he think I wouldn't END him and his fucking brother for the person that I loved?

“Santos...there you are.”

The voice is annoying. I know who it is almost immediately.

It's Lucca. He loosens my grasp around Aiden's throat. The person who Lucca is with has on a mask but I know who it is just by the way she glides across the room. Camilla is right on his other side. She grabs at my other hand. The two of them lead me away from Aiden. Aiden is standing back there smiling at me. He's taunting me.

“Get off of me,” I shake Lucca off.

“Relax. You can't let them get to you. This is the game. This is Eden. The moment you let someone get to you is the moment they win,” Lucca tells me.

“I don't take advice from you,” I explain.

Lucca and Camilla look at one another. They've always been able to communicate with just stares. I wonder what this stare means. I'm heated. I'm beyond heated.

“We deserve that,” Camilla adds in.

I don't want to hear it. I ignore Camilla, “Where is Nero? I have to tell him that the Aiden is planning something against him.”

Aiden has to be planning to kill Nero. He has to be planning an assassination.

“Don't be stupid. Nero wasn't born yesterday,” Lucca tells me, “He's well aware that Aiden is desperate. Haven't you noticed the guards.”


“Arie is attempting to convince him to step down,” Lucca tells me, “My spies say that Nero is actually considering it.”

“Giving up his throne?”

“He wants peace. Nero has always wanted peace. Arie is offering him sanctuary for you and Nero if Nero steps down.”

Lucca points at where Nero and Arie are. This was Aiden's plan? Have King Arie convince Nero to step down? What about the baby that we were planned to take over for Nero? There are so many things that are running through my head when I see Nero and Arie sitting there talking.

“If Nero steps down would they...leave us alone? Would they let us live in peace together?”

I'm not 100 percent sure of it but after what happened with Nero, Coco and I, I don't think that he would step down. Aiden really felt like he had this in the bag. He wanted me to convince Nero to step down.

“You can't be considering that,” Lucca explains.

I shake my head, “This is all getting out of hand. Nero still is legally married to Aiden. Aiden is fighting the annulment. Maybe if Nero steps down then the annulment can go through.”

“Why would you want to be married to him if he's not King?” Lucca asks.

This was a serious question coming from Lucca. He looks like he is seriously confused. For people like him title was everything. If Nero stepped down and let Arie take over then Nero would be nothing. Lucca couldn't understand that I wanted to be married to Nero regardless of who he was.

“You can't trust them,” Camilla states, “Aiden shows he isn't to be trusted. He promised to marry me! Not Arie.”

I look at Camilla. Her and Lucca would be the last people I would talk to about trust.

“Arie may be trustworthy though...even if Aiden isn't.”

I look over at Arie. I had always had a certain level of respect for him. There was a man who would give anything to save Eden. If he was telling Nero that he needed to step down then maybe he had a point. Nero wasn't nearly as dedicated to Eden as he should have been. Truthfully Nero admitted that he would choose me over Eden. Nero admitted that he wanted to leave with me.

I'm watching Arie talk to Nero and as I watch I'm understanding why Nero looks like he's really thinking about it. Let Aiden and Arie rule. If that's what they wanted so bad then let them have it.

“They can't be trusted!” Lucca stated, “Aiden will have you buried the moment that he takes over. Santos you can't be so stupid.”

“Stupid. Who are you talking to?” I ask.

I am raging a little bit. Lucca is getting quite comfortable. No. He's getting quite desperate.

“I won't allow him to get away with embarrassing me,” Lucca states.

“What can you possibly do?” I state, “If Arie can assure that nothing will happen to Nero or me. I think that this deal may be worth it.”

“You had a deal with Coco. I promise you. Your baby should be the heir to the throne. This is about title. It would be his or her birth right. You can't take that away.”

“This is way more important. This is peace,” I state.

I didn't even know if Coco was pregnant.

“Santos...where are you going?” Lucca asks me.

“I'm going to tell Nero I'm OK with him stepping down.”


I ignore Lucca.

I cross the room. I may be taking a risk. Arie had buried me once when he was king and I was literally about to give him the power to make that decision again.

But did I want to be King?

At the end of the day did I honestly want to marry Nero and be King of Eden. I didn't even like the city to be honest with you. Nero wasn't really dedicated to this city as well. What kind of Kings would Nero and I make. Maybe it would be best if we did step down. Aiden may have been a backstabber but at least I knew that he cared about Eden.

I was definitely sure that Arie did.

As I approach the table I'm greeted by a smile from Arie.

“Santos. I'm glad you made it. You look stunning,” Arie tells me.

Just at that moment Arie smiles at me, genuinely bows and takes a step back.

“Thank you sir,” I tell him.

“I should let the two of you speak. I'm sure you have a lot to discuss,” Arie states.

Nero smiles at me as Arie walks away. Nero pulls out a chair for me.

“Here you go babe...” Nero states.

“You sure I can sit at the right of the King? That is usually Aiden's position,” I state.

Nero smiles at me slowly, “You're the only one I need to the right of me. Don't ever doubt that. Regardless if I'm king or not. Which is why I have to speak to you actually.”

I scoot my chair closer to Nero. Across the room I see Arie. He's standing with the Countesses Livia and Roxanne. He's watching us from the side of his eye. Not too far away from him are the twins. They are whispering amongst themselves. Then I see Lucca and Camilla. All the players seem to be out and they all seem to be very busy.

“Serious talk and I haven't even gotten a dance from you yet,” I state.

Nero smiles, “That's all I keep thinking about too. Maybe that's the problem. I can't focus on this throne Santos. All I care about is you.”

“I know what you mean. Heavy is the head that bears the crown,” I state.

“Too heavy. Maybe it's time to lighten that load.”

“Arie wants you to step down.”

“He doesn't seem angry about it,” Nero explains, “He says that he'll let me and you live in peace. I don't want the throne Santos. I never did. I trust Arie won't harm you unless he has to.”

“Did you give him an answer?”

“I wanted to talk to you about it first.”

“So this would mean peace?”

“Yes. We can retire. Let Arie deal with the Thirsts. Let him deal with Lilith. Let him deal with all that shit. It can just be me and you. We'll worry about where we want to have sex next, what foods we want to try, how many kids we want to have. Those are the things I want to worry about Santos. That's all.”


“Arie...what about Coco?”

“We'll tell her the deal is off,” he explains, “If she isn't OK with having our child we'll find someone else.”

He made it sound so easy.

What if it was?



Just walk away from it all. Walk away from the drama. Walk away from the anger. Walk away from the responsibility. I wasn't ready to be the husband of a King and Nero never wanted it. We didn't need it. At all.

“Tell him,” I state.

Nero leans over to kiss me. Just as he gets up to walk over to Arie there is Lucca. Nero and I turn as we notice Lucca hoping up on the stage where the band is performing.

“Good afternoon everyone!” Lucca announces on the stage.

We look over at Lucca. He's up there with his little sidekick Camilla. The two of them have huge smiles on their faces. I'm confused by it. What the fuck are they doing up there?

“Lucca and I would like to take this time to make an announcement. Actually we'd like to invite someone else up on stage to make an announcement.”

Nero looks over at me. I shrug. I don't know what Lucca and Camilla are up to. No one knows. All the important people are int his room right now wondering just who Lucca and Camilla thought they were to jump on stage and make an announcement. This broke protocol. Lucca and Camilla always cared about image. This had to be important for them to go against that.

That's when I see them welcoming a third on stage.


All I can do is whisper, “Fuck.”

Lucca and Camilla surround her. You would think they were lifelong friends. How could Coco be so stupid to trust those two after all they'd done.

“What is she doing?” Nero asks me.

I don't have time to answer.

“I wanted everyone to help me celebrate my pregnancy,” Coco states, “I have decided to carry a child and heir to the throne for King Nero and his soon-to-be husband Santos!”

My mouth drops open.


Just at that moment Vigorosa comes out. No doubt Lucca arranged all of this. Cameras are flashing. They are going off. The cameras now turn to Nero and I. We just so happen to be holding hands at that moment. No one would have noticed if Coco didn't put all the attention on us.

Nero doesn't know how to react. I don't know how to react either. I'm sitting there feeling like an idiot. Why would Coco do this? Why would she announce her pregnancy to the ENTIRE city before she even told me?

Nero wasn't even divorced from his husband yet for godsakes.

The Axis of Evil doesn't waste time. Any other day and I would have been happy to see Aiden look like he's about to break down completely. Today was different though. We were on the verge of peace.

We were so close that I could taste it.

“This is how you repay me?” Arie asks Nero, “THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME!”

Aiden shakes his head, “I'm still married to you Nero and you are planning a child with someone else.”

“This is unforgivable!”

We can't take it back. The entire city knew that Nero and I were planning to have child of our own now. The entire city knew that Coco was carrying our baby. The entire city knew that Nero was planning on divorcing Aiden and marrying me.

Roxanne is the one who is calming them down, “You will lower your voice when you speak to King Nero.”

Arie finally has gone over the edge. He doesn't even pay attention to Roxanne. She's usually able to keep order but right now she could be no one to him.

Arie's fangs are showing, “I promised to take over your role and keep you and this FUCKING DEMON you are in love with safe!”

“How dare you talk about Santos like that?” Nero states.

That's when it happens.

Nero slaps Arie.

It is the slap heard around Eden. The cameras get it. The nobles in the room shriek. Arie was respected. He was beyond respected. All hell was breaking loose. People were screaming. I mean Arie had a fucking golden statue in the front of this very basilica. Nero smacking him was a mistake and Nero is so upset that he doesn't even see it that way.

Arie's fists balls up.

“You cannot hit the King back,” Roxanne tells him.

She's saying what we were all thinking. The charge would be death if Arie hit the king back. As much as I didn't agree with Arie I did respect him. I didn't want that to happen to him.

Arie looks at Roxanne, “I challenge him to Combat Sanglant.”

More gasps.

Combat Sanglant was the vampire fight to the death. An ancient fight. The last one happened over 100 years ago.

“You can't challenge the King of Eden to Combat Sanglant,” Roxanne states, “This is law.”

Arie looks over at me, “I'm not challenging Nero. I'm challenging Santos.”

To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com