Between them, Christopher was the first to make the change. It seemed to happen overnight. One day, they were in a field picking the lavender Darianna loved so much, and he was admiring the way the sunlight reflected in her hair… the next day, he was noticing the pulse in the side of her throat. His teeth were longer. They were sharper. And every time she threw her head back to laugh, they ached.
When she ran from him, as she’d done in play since they were children, every nerve in his body screamed to life, every muscle bunched, and his vision changed. The beast within him awoke, rearing its head.
Darianna Grace was every bit as breathtaking to him as she had always been, but Christopher was no longer the little boy that she’d grown to trust and love. There was suddenly a darkness to him that frightened him… for her sake.
It didn’t get any easier.
With the physical changes on Christopher’s outside came changing desires on the inside. The women of the realm readily lined up to satisfy this newly dawning need within him, eager for a few moments in the prince’s bed. But though their flesh gave way easily enough beneath the push and prick of his very sharp teeth, their blood only temporarily slaked the hunger that woke him up every morning – and kept him up every night.
It was Anna that filled his thoughts, burned through his veins, and sang a siren song in his monster’s mind. He found himself withdrawing from her company, never quite trusting the man he was becoming around the girl she’d always been. And from afar, he watched her go through her own changes.
One early morning, in the painful hours before dawn, Christopher stood at the side of his father’s death bed and, with straight back and breaking heart, he bid his old man farewell. Then, after shifting issues of state had kept him castle-bound all day despite his internal grief, Christopher retired to his wing of the castle, made his way to the very same windows he gazed through now, and let his rather fevered forehead rest against the cool glass.
His father was dead. Christopher Thorn was king now.
A clinking of stone against the smooth plane of window drew his attention. The vast night beckoned beyond the pane, and Christopher’s eyesight readily adjusted. His kind had excellent night vision.
Five stories down, wrapped in a velvet and hooded cloak of varying shades of purple, Darianna Grace gazed up at him and then beckoned with a single whispered word: “Come.”
He read her lips and heard her summons in the core of him. At once, every fiber of his being answered the call. Christopher’s gaze shifted into red, he turned from the window and sped through the castle like a wind-borne fury.
His long black coat billowed about his booted legs as servants scuttled to get out of the lord’s way. Lamps flickered at his passing; a shadowed breeze seemed to accompany him, forcing candle flames to genuflect, almost going out. A hushed whisper went up, an unspoken curiosity. He appeared the devil, with demons chasing his heels, as he stormed his way through the castle’s front doors and made his way impatiently into the night beyond.
– Vampire, Vampire by Heather Killough-Walden