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The Vampire Black Prince
Author: B.A. Stretke





“Do you remember your father and I discussing the old one from before we left France and how he had descended into a darkness that had consumed him?” Master DuCane enquired, seemingly offhanded.

"He was a nobleman, a royal that fell from grace in a spectacular fashion, according to what I remember. Father said it was a wretched and terrible day that he was formed.” Silas responded.

"He is the only vampire in existence who was not born a vampire. Due to dark deeds brought on by a debilitating loss, he descended into the blackest reaches of existence and became the worst and bloodiest among us." Master DuCane had met him once briefly in passing at the close of a particular brutal engagement, and his aura had been chilling. Fortunately, they'd fought on the same side; otherwise, Louis was not certain he would have survived.

"Why do you speak of him? I thought he died centuries ago."

"I think he may still be alive," DuCane stated thoughtfully. "He or someone close to him may be operating in California."

"What makes you think he is still alive? I thought he perished in the London fire of 1666?" Silas asked.

"There are signs that he still lives." Louis paused and then explained. "Master Leopold's Coven has been destroyed and whipped out, according to Ira. He commanded thousands and controlled a massive territory, as you know." Louis paused and then finished. "There is nothing left. Everything is gone except a sigil carved into what remained of the concrete driveway of the main coven house. The sigil is that which belonged to the Black Prince.






Cooper Sloane drove into town feeling like it was the perfect place to lay low for a while. Mt. Pleasant was not too small and not too big, a place his former clients would not expect to find him. They may even have given up by now. The damage was minimal, and it was just an ego issue for them anyway. Cooper was not so important that they would put up the money to continue a search, but he checked into the Greyson Hotel for five days just in case.

His instincts were telling him to be careful, and his instincts were rarely wrong. Common sense dictated they'd stopped pursuing him and had returned home to Florida, but his instincts were telling him to lay low. Cooper was a low-level magic practitioner with a mouth that was much bigger than his talent. His mouth had gotten him into more than one situation over the past few years, and you'd think he'd learn, but the temptation of success and big money always enticed him to take another risk.

He pulled up to the Greyson and handed his keys to the valet, and went inside to check in. He had just one small bag, but he didn't need much since his magic was reliable enough to provide him with the basics in life, so he never found it necessary to carry around a lot of things. As soon as he got set up in his room, he planned to go find some lunch.

The hotel was quite lovely and situated next to a narrow river. He found it rather invigorating. He came from a magic line that drew their power from water, moving water, so Cooper made a point to stay near the lakes and rivers.

Florida, with its ocean and gulf fronts, had filled him with a potent energy and a belief that he could do anything, even pick the winners in a horse race. Fortune telling was not Cooper's forte, but he was feeling lucky. Unfortunately, he was wrong every single time, leaving the man who hired him to pick the winners out a considerable amount of money.

The guy could easily afford the loss, being a hotelier in Miami and having interests in bars and restaurants along the coast. He was not hurting for cash even after the loss at the track. Mr. Norman Niemi took the loss very personally and sent his men after Cooper. Thankfully he managed to get out of town and out of state. Running was never fun, and Cooper hoped he'd gone far and fast enough that they would give up and go home. His instincts were telling him Norman was not through with him yet.

The room was lovely and had a balcony with a view that was gorgeous. He stood there for several minutes, breathing in the water-infused air and feeling it revitalize and stimulate his magics. He used a fake name and identification that, with his magics, was easy to get past the front desk reception.

Mr. Niemi had a lot of hotel connections, but that was with the chains, and the Greyson was privately owned and passed down through a family. It was part of the reason he chose the Greyson. The other part was the river. He needed the river.

Magic has been detected at the Greyson; Rawl sent word to Terrance and his team to fan out and find them while Rawl stood to watch at the Greyson. "Whoever they are, they need to be neutralized as soon as possible."

“How many?” Terrance asked.

"Just one, I believe, but you can never tell with magic." Rawl shot back. "Put them in the iron bracelets and bring them to the Palace when they are apprehended. The cells in the subbasement have been outfitted to contain magics."

"Will do," Terrance replied and closed the call.

Cooper crossed the street to a sweet-looking little café where he was sure he could get a delicious lunch. Having recharged his magics at the river, he knew he could sit by the window, and no one would notice him. The cloaking spell was the first spell he'd mastered as a young lad in the foster care system, and it saved him more times than he could count over the years.

He could sit there unnoticed, have his lunch, watch the road, and get a feel for the town. It wasn't long before he realized this was not the town for him. All the positive vibes he thought he felt when entering this town had disappeared as he allowed the essence of this place to touch him.

After a few minutes of observing the scene beyond the window, he realized there was no other magic anywhere, not even a Wiccan, not a single flicker of the magical. That was unnatural, for everywhere he went, there was always a couple magics in the crowd somewhere.

It was unusual enough that Cooper finished his sandwich and decided that he needed to leave now. He stood and headed for the door, still maintaining the cloaking spell, realizing he would need it until he got out of this town. The air was telling him that trouble was coming.

Two men large and in charge came up on either side of him, and instantly, the cloak fell away as iron bracelets were snapped on his wrists. They picked him up with an arm under each of his and walked with him to a big shiny black SUV parked a few feet away. Cooper's feet never touched the ground as they stowed him in the back seat where another large man was waiting for him.

No one spoke until the two got in the front, then the one in the passenger seat called someone named Rawl. "We got him and are on our way. MeetMeet us there." Cooper would like some answers, but he doubted these men would give him any, so he simply sat back and observed.

He would get his chance somewhere between here and wherever they were headed, he would have an opportunity to break free. They saw through the cloaking spell, so they were magics of some kind or a paranormal. The minute they touched him and got up close and personal, he knew they were vampires.

With the iron bracelets, his abilities were being obstructed, but unlike many mages who were crippled when in contact with iron water, his magic was different. Cooper still had some of his power and was focusing and building upon it. They would not expect magic from him, so the surprise factor was going to work in his favor. He had a slim chance of escape, and he had to plan carefully.

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