An isolated castle sits in the middle of an English countryside. Despite its secluded surroundings, everything a normal human would need is found on the property. There’s shelter from the elements, and a huge garden, which provides the necessary vegetables. Not far from the vegetable garden, a slaughterhouse can be found. The inhabitants of the shelter grow the vegetables and slaughter the animals raised on the property so those who eat normal food won’t starve. For those who don’t consume normal food, there are the visitors in the catacombs. The ones found in the farm’s basement provide nourishment for the one-time visitors of the Baby Farm, the children and others.
As a rule, the children stay on the Baby Farm for up to two weeks. In winter, it could be much longer. Afterwards, the parents of the newborns come to retrieve them and are never to return. Once the children eat, the inhabitants must also eat. But who are they?
The year is 1894. A screaming woman who is about to give birth is surrounded by two men. She has signed no papers consenting to what was about to happen to her, nor does she know. The only thing she knows is she loves the man who has given her the chance at happiness and a family. Unfortunately for her, the woman doesn’t know that when she became pregnant, she was doomed. The ones of the Coven of Kings care not for humans. They only wish to propagate their species by any means necessary.
“So, who’s this?” Alec inquired.
“Who cares? Let’s just get it cleaned up and to the nursery. It will soon meet its parents,” Boris, in a foul mood as usual, replied. Alec usually ignored Boris’ bad temper, but tonight, for whatever reason, he decided to try and find out what was on his companion’s mind.
Boris Bloodworth. A Daywalker. Foulmouthed, ill tempered, handsome, and desired. His deeply set ebony eyes looked like two spheres of black marble. A very tall vampire, he had luxurious, curly ebony hair, which he wore pulled back in a ponytail. Beautiful brown skin covered his broad-shouldered build. His diet consisted of humans and vampires, but rest assured, humans were his favorite.
“Call the detail to clean this up,” Alec demanded as he held the crying baby in his arms.
“Why do I have to be the one on this detail tonight?” Boris protested. “This shit is disgusting.”
“You’re on the detail because you’re on my team and it’s your turn. What’s wrong with you tonight? Not that you’re any different than any other night, but you seem especially disturbed this evening.”
Boris laughed it off. “Disturbed? No, not disturbed. Pissed would be more like it,” he explained. “Tonight, I’d rather be with the beautiful and seductive Selena. Instead, I’m cleaning up human remains. I hate this shit. I’ll call the detail.”
A disgruntled Boris stormed out of the birthing room, leaving Alec alone with a crying baby in his arms and the child’s human mother lying dead on the table in front of him. He never once wondered if what he was doing was right. Why should he? This is the way of his clan. This is how he, himself was brought into the world. His clan is the Clan of Farmers.
Alec Thorn, one hundred years old. Tall, but not as tall as Boris. Shoulder length wavy chestnut hair matched his round, light brown eyes perfectly. He was half-human, half-vampire, and a Nightwalker of average build. He was arrogant, with beautiful skin that held a constant reddish glow.
Alec, only for a moment, ignored the screaming baby, and gazed upon the beautiful human woman contemplating if he should taste just a bit of her blood before Boris returned. He had never tasted human blood since he survived on the blood of his kin.
He inched closer to the table, still ignoring the screams of the child, and leaned over for a small lick. The smell immediately made him sick to his stomach so he quickly backed away. Besides, the screams of the hungry child reminded him he had to get the baby to the nursery for feeding.
On his way out, the clean up crew came in with Boris in tow. Alec wasn’t sure how much they might have seen so he barked his normal orders in an effort to maintain secrecy. “Finish this, and then bring in the next,” he commanded as he quickly moved towards the door.
Suddenly, Boris grabbed a surprised Alec by the arm. “Still wondering what they taste like?” a smug Boris inquired.
The baby was now beginning to wear on Alec’s nerves, but he took time to answer the question. “No.”
Boris knew Alec was lying and laughed loudly, knowing everyone in the room would hear. “They’re delicious!”
Unable to respond, Alec pulled away from Boris and stormed out of the room. The child was now screaming loud enough to disturb everyone within earshot. Alec picked up his pace. He turned the final corner before reaching the nursery and literally bumped into the clan leader, who just happened to be walking the halls with his beloved mate.
“Watch where you’re going vermin,” Alec chastised, before looking up to see who it was. When he did notice, he immediately apologized. “My lord, I’m so sorry.”
“Its okay, Alec. I understand why you’re in such a hurry. Who does this child belong to?” His master asked.
“I’m not sure. I only know he’s very hungry, my lord.”
“Brie will know. Be sure to let me know. I’d love to meet this child’s parents.”
“Certainly, my lord.”
Alec stood in silence and waited for more words to come from his leader. They stood and looked at each other amidst an awkward silence. Finally, the master spoke. “Well what are you waiting on? Get him to the nursery for his feeding. Hurry up! I grow tired of hearing him cry.”
“Yes, my lord.”
The leader of the Clan of Farmers was Bartholomew Crane. A very cruel, but handsome made vampire. A Nightwalker with a deeply tanned skin, and masculine build. Bartholomew had fine, wavy ivory hair that dropped to the middle of his back.
Bartholomew was blessed, like so many others of not only his own coven, but of others, with the art of transformation. This allowed him to turn himself into a swarm of butterflies, which he used for both attack and pleasure. If in a fight, he used his ability as a distraction. But he also used this ability to please his potential suitors, whether they were male or female. Bartholomew liked both.
He only had one weakness. If attacked with weapons made of a special wood, he would die. This part of Bartholomew’s life was kept secret from all, except his beloved.
Isabella Marquis. A very tall Nightwalking beauty with hooded steel gray eyes. She had an hourglass build, with fine straight black hair that draped just below her cream-colored shoulders.
Isabella’s unusual talent was dream control. She could enter the dreams of others and control them as she wished. This was a very special gift, for not many vampires within her coven or outside it, could do this. Because of this special ability, no one stood against her. They all knew she could drive anyone mad if that’s what she chose to do. All were subservient to her so she would leave them alone. For his part, Alec would never oppose her and always gave her the utmost respect.
“Well go on. What are you waiting on? The child is hungry,” Bartholomew exclaimed at a distracted Alec.
“Yes, of course,” Alec quickly replied.
Alec stood and watched Bartholomew and Isabella walk away, and wondered about what they were on their way to do. In the meantime, the baby screams were growing louder.
When he finally arrived at the nursery, Alec was thrilled to find the woman that stirred his loins every time he looked at her. Her name was Brie Lestat.
Brie was in charge of the nursery during the night shift. She was very good at her job, loved the children, and had the respect of all who lived with her.
A gray-eyed, Nightwalking beauty with a large bust and prominent cheekbones. Brie was short, for being half-human, half-vampire. Silky, straight, shoulder-length black hair draped her china-white skin. She was able to consume both blood and normal food. She often preferred the latter.
Brie’s special ability was illusions. With one touch, she could allow the person she was touching to see just what they wanted to see. Sometimes she would project too much, and the person she was trying to help, would reject her. This wouldn’t happen often, only when Brie was extremely emotional about the current situation.
“Here’s another one,” Alec said as he entered the nursery.
“Ah, there he is,” Brie said with a smile, her heart aflutter at the sight of Alec.
“Bartholomew asked about this one. Who are his parents?”
“Alec, no one’s supposed to know.”
“Master Bartholomew requested I tell him.”
“In that case, let me introduce you to little Giovanni Santiago.”
“So, this is Master Malachi’s son.”
“Yes. I think he’s quite handsome. What do you think?”
Alec shrugged. “Just another half-breed.”
“Oh, come on Alec,” Brie said as she placed a bottle full of blood in Giovanni’s mouth. “You know he’s adorable.”
“Humans. I’ll never understand the attraction.”
“But the babies are different.”
“No Brie, they’re not.”
“Of course they are,” Brie smiled as she cuddled the baby she held. “All of these children are half vampire, like us. That makes them beautiful, don’t you think?”
“I don’t know anything about that. However, I do know who I find beautiful,” Alec said in a charming voice.
“We’re not talking about me. We’re talking about the children.”
“I don’t know about the children, but I do know one thing.”
“What’s that?” Brie asked as she gently fed the new baby.
Alec, thinking about his most recent encounter with Boris, suddenly blurted out what was on his mind. “Boris, the foulest creature of us all, is getting more ass than me,” he angrily declared.
“Oh, come on,” Brie responded, trying to tend to Alec’s fragile ego.
“Me. I’m favored above all, and by the way, the most handsome, is getting nothing. Boris is getting everything.”
Brie only smiled. “Are you jealous of Boris?”
“I don’t believe you just asked me that. Boris is a pig. He’s rude, ill-tempered, and obnoxious.”
“We’re all aware of his disposition,” Brie quickly snapped back. “In fact, I heard Lady Isabella talking about invading his dreams to get him under control. But that’s not what I asked. I asked if you’re jealous of him,” Brie said as she put the baby down in a nearby crib.
“He’s tall, and good looking yes, but he has a foul mouth. He’s just a boar.”
“Alec Thorn, you’re jealous of one of your workers.”
“Oh yes you are,” she said, and smiled as she inched closer and closer to Alec.
Suddenly Alec was pinned between an empty crib and the woman he desired.
“Brie, we don’t have time for this now,” Alec said in an uncomfortable tone.
“Of course not. I just think Boris is very sexy.”
“Sexy? Does that mean you find him attractive?” Alec asked as he attempted to move further away from Brie’s advances. He now found himself closer to the wall.
“Of course I do. No woman I know would turn him down, including me,” Brie declared as she backed Alec completely against the wall.
“Brie, you’re a beautiful and powerful woman who can possess any of us you desire. I’d prefer you not choose Boris.”
Brie gently kissed Alec on the lips and whispered, “Who do you wish me to choose?”
Though very excited that Brie was attempting to seduce him, Alec had no time for pleasure. There was work to do. “Woman, get back to work,” he said in a stern voice. “If not, I’ll chat with Master Bartholomew and tell him you attempted to rape me.”
Brie backed off and responded like a spoiled child. “Aw, Alec, come on!”
“I mean it,” Alec said with a hint of sarcasm. “I’ll tell him everything.”
Brie let Alec out of his tight spot. Alec was relieved. He was horribly attracted to Brie, but the work had to continue. “Thank you, my dear.”
“Alec, when will I be able to see you?”
“My rotation will be finished tomorrow night. Afterwards I’ll be free to violate you until the next time I have something to do for the clan.”
“I can’t wait,” Brie said as she gently stroked his cheek.
Alec gave Brie a chaste kiss. “Would you really be with Boris?”
“As long as I thought it would bring you closer to me, of course I would.”
“What about Selena?”
“It’s not Selena I’m after.”
They both smiled. Alec left so Brie could get on with her duties. He was satisfied that he had the chance to see her, even if it was just for a little while.
Alec was on his way to Bartholomew’s chamber so he could tell him about the baby’s parents. He arrived at the chamber and knocked on the door.
“Come,” Bartholomew responded.
“The baby belongs to Master Malachi, my lord,” Alec said as he entered the room.
“Ah, that’s too bad.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I say that for the child, Alec. Malachi is the leader of the Clan of the Moon. You’re aware of that, right?”
“They’re all mad, my lord.”
“Yes, Alec they are. That’s why I feel for the child. What’s the child’s name?”
“Perhaps I’ll talk Malachi into letting us raise Giovanni.”
“Why would you want to do that?”
“One less mad vampire in the world Alec, that’s why.”
“Is there anything else that you wish of me?”
“No, Alec, you’re free to go back to your duties.”
“Thank you, my lord.” Alec lowered his eyes, and turned to leave.
“By the way, Alec, could you send Brie to see me?”
Alec turned around and with a look of confusion asked, “What for?”
“Because I wish to have her,” Bartholomew said plainly.
Alec’s blood began to boil. He knew his master had an insatiable sexual appetite, and often slept with different women in the clan. This was known to all, but why Brie? Alec didn’t want Bartholomew to have her, but he couldn’t do anything about it.
“But what of her duties?” Alec asked in quiet protest.
“I won’t keep her long. The children will be fine for a while. Go now and retrieve her for me.”
“Yes, my lord.” Alec again lowered his eyes and left the room.
Alec returned to the nursery filled with anger and concern. To make matters worse, what he saw when he opened the door nearly broke his heart. Boris had Brie pinned against the wall and was sucking on her neck. Worst of all, she didn’t seem to mind.
“Brie, Master Bartholomew wishes to see you,” Alec said, trying his best not to acknowledge what he just witnessed.
“Alec, what did you tell him?” Brie asked.
“Go to him. He wishes to have you.”
Brie could sense the anger in his voice. “Alec, it’s not what it looks like.”
“With you, it never is. Go before he comes looking for you. Boris you stay.”
Brie cleaned the blood from her neck and hurried past Alec. When the door closed behind him, Alec turned to Boris, his eyes filled with hate. He didn’t yell. If he did, it would wake up the sleeping children.
“I thought you wanted Selena,” Alec said quietly.
“Selena isn’t here,” Boris said with a smile. “She’s off doing clan business.”
“Well isn’t that what you’re supposed to be doing? Clan business?”
“I was. The next human is about to give birth. I came in here looking for you.”
“Well then let’s get on with it,” Alec said as he moved away from the door and allowed Boris to pass. Boris walked out of the door, and Alec followed.
Once the door to the nursery closed, Alec immediately confronted Boris. “Boris, don’t touch her anymore,” he barked. “I hear you’re a real monster in bed, but leave Brie alone. Isn’t it bad enough we have to share our women with Master Bartholomew?”
“It wasn’t as it appeared,” Boris responded.
“I don’t want to hear your lies or Brie’s lies. Just stay away from her.”
“Alec, I just needed to feed.”
“Well the next time you need to feed, let me know. I’ll make sure you get what you need from Master Bartholomew. From what I hear, he has been looking at you differently lately.”
Boris stopped in his tracks, and looked Alec right in his eyes. “You little weasel, you wouldn’t dare.”
Alec was not afraid of Boris. He simply looked back at him and said, “Put your hands on the woman I love again and I will. Come now, let’s get back to, how did you put it? Clan business? Where’s this human?”
“She’s in birthing room five.”
“Well what are you waiting on? Come on, we have a Baby Farm to run.”
Alec was determined to talk to Brie about Boris the following day. He left his room and immediately made his way to the nursery. He walked in, didn’t look to even see if she was there, and opened his mouth. “Brie, we have to talk about Boris.”
Emma, Brie’s assistant, looked up from her desk. “She hasn’t arrived yet Master Alec,” she said, almost embarrassed she had heard his declaration.
Emma Delarosa was a Daywalking vampire, of medium height. She had beautiful brown eyes that resembled two tiger-eye gems. She was dark-skinned and had waist-length curly black hair that she wore in a ponytail. Her legs were longer than her torso, which made her appear taller than she actually was. The aura surrounding her was that of pure love. The king knew this, and charged her with taking care of the coven’s children. She was happy with this role and took her job very seriously. Emma originated in the Clan of the Night. The members of this clan can stay up for up to four days at a time without sleep.
“Oh I see. I suspect the children are well?” an equally embarrassed Alec asked.
“Yes, they’re fine.”
“Good. I’ll go see what’s taking Brie.”
“Thank you, master.”
Alec walked out of the door and closed it behind him. He had hid his anger the best he could. Emma had been on duty for twelve hours. It was time for Brie to come on duty and for Emma to get some rest.
Alec walked the hallways toward Brie’s room. He still was angry about the previous night’s activities, and her not being on duty angered him even further. He intended on discussing it with her. He didn’t want to upset her because he loved her, but he had no patience when it came down to his work.
He made his way to Brie’s room. Normally he would just walk into her room, grab her, kiss her, and tell her how much she meant to him. This time was different. He knew she had been with the clan leader.
Bartholomew was not known for his kindness, and was often very brutal with his partners. The rumor around the clan was only Isabella could withstand his brutal lovemaking. Rumors also said that he took many lovers because of his brutality. Perhaps Isabella couldn’t handle him alone after all, Alec thought.
The more he thought about it, the more Alec was willing to let go what he had witnessed between Brie and Boris, if Brie was okay. Instead of just walking into her room, he gently knocked at the door.
“Brie, it’s time for you to go to the nursery. Emma must have her rest and the children are waiting for you.” Alec got no answer, so he knocked again. “Brie, it’s time to get up. The children are hungry.”
Brie still didn’t answer. A worried Alec gently opened the door. He could see her feet at the foot of her bed, but she wasn’t moving. He pushed the door open more and stuck his head in. He was unprepared for what he saw.
Brie was nude, and there were hundreds of bites all over her body, which were still bleeding badly. It seemed as if Bartholomew had just gotten finished with her. She didn’t have time for her body to recover from her sexual encounter with their master.
Alec walked closer to her and called to her again. Brie didn’t answer. He went to the side of the bed where her head was. He sat down and quietly called her name again. “Brie, wake up.” Still she didn’t stir. Alec was sure she was dead. He gently began to stroke her hair. Suddenly Brie moved, and Alec breathed a sigh of relief.
“Brie? Honey? Can you hear me?”
She didn’t open her eyes, but managed to reach for him. Alec gently pulled her head into his lap, and continued to stroke her hair. “Its okay angel, I’m here now. Did he hurt you?” Brie nodded her head and began to cry. “I’m sorry Brie. I don’t know why he did this to you. I’ll talk to him.”
Brie sat up, and looked Alec in the eyes. “No, Alec,” she whispered.
“Well I can’t let him hurt you anymore,” Alec consoled her. “I care for you, you know that.”
Brie shook her head and said, “I know you do. That’s why you can’t do anything.”
“Well what would you have me do? I’m very angry with him right now.”
Brie managed to get close enough to wrap her arms around Alec’s neck. “Just hold me,” she said in a weakened, vulnerable voice.
Alec held her for some time. He thought he might need to get some details just in case he needed some ammunition. If things like this continued within his clan, he would go to the king.
“Brie, do you want to tell me exactly what happened?”
Brie let go of his neck, bothered that her much-needed peace and comfort had been disturbed. “It doesn’t matter, Alec. I’ll heal.”
“You haven’t been to sleep yet?”
“Since when can he stay awake during the day? And how were you able to stay awake?”
“I don’t know how he was able to stay awake, but I think I’m becoming a Daywalker like Boris.”
“More of your human blood I suppose.”
“Possibly, but it doesn’t matter. You can’t do or say anything to Master Bartholomew. He’s the strongest of us all. Even with Lady Isabella’s great abilities, she’s no match for him. Most of us have human blood which makes us weak.”
“We’re not weak Brie,” a suddenly defiant Alec responded. “We’re afraid, but if we all get together-”
Brie put her hand to Alec’s mouth. “Don’t speak it,” she pleaded. “If you do, we’ll die. What will become of the children if we die?”
“Always thinking of the little ones.”
“Alec, please just admit it. You care for those children just as I do.”
“No Brie, I don’t. The only one I care about, and have always cared about, is you.”
“I care about you as well,” Brie said. “I don’t want to lose you. So, please promise me you’ll not talk to the master about his business.”
“You are my business.”
“No, I’m not. I’m only a vampire who happens to work in the nursery. Selena finds the blood donors for us. Boris assists you with whatever you need help with. If we’re not busy with our usual duties, there’s other clan business to take care of. Oh Alec, don’t you get it? We live to work and work to survive. That’s our way.”
“That’s not my way,” an even more defiant Alec bellowed. “I’m favored. I’m second in command. I’m in charge of operations. The farm is mine to run. In my eyes, Bartholomew is nothing but a leech.”
“He holds a council seat, Alec,” Brie said as she tried to reason with him.
“The lowest council seat. Kali, the leader of the Learned Clan, holds a higher seat on the council than Bartholomew does. Her clan’s nothing but a bunch of bookworms and historians as far as I’m concerned.”
“Why are you saying this?” Brie asked with obvious concern in her voice.
“Because I’m angry, Brie. I’ve never seen you in such a state. I’ve heard other council members talk about him. They call him things like farmer, donor, low life, and not to mention, sex addict. Why should I feel inferior to him? All on the council speak very highly of me.”
“They speak so highly of you because of Master Jaymes. He’s your father and they fear him.”
“Perhaps,” Alec said. “Brie, I need you to sleep,” Alec continued in an attempt to end the conversation. “The next time I see you, I don’t want to see these ugly scars on you. Your body needs to heal. The next time I see you, I want you in the nursery taking care of the children you hold dear to your heart. Do you want me to call the medic to help you?”
Brie grabbed Alec’s hair, pulled him close to her face, gritted her teeth, and said, “Don’t do what you’re thinking. Bartholomew will kill you. I can’t bear the thought of not having you close to me.”
“I asked if you needed a medic,” Alec said, unaffected by her dramatics.
She knew when Alec was this angry, there was no reasoning with him so she let go. “No Alec. I just need to sleep.”
“Alright my beloved. I’ll see you soon.”
“What of the children?”
“Emma will watch over them until you’ve healed.”
Alec kissed Brie softly but with passion. It was a kiss that was meant to tell her two things. Softly to tell her not to worry, and passionately to tell her he loved her.