Chapter 1:


Vampire Lanterns

Post midnight of the Festival

Smiling Demyan was returning with Petrona to their quarters. They split from the others at the stairs. He grabbed her by the waist lifted her into the air and then placed her at the first step. She was surprised following his gentle gaze. He was looking into the ground. Why? In reality, he was embarrassed and blushing. He wanted to hide it from her.
The kiss crossed her mind and she began to blush as well. Probably in the room, it will be an awkward atmosphere. Demyan sighed and got the courage to look into her big eyes. He lifted her into his arms and carried her to the room disappearing behind the doors.

The next morning Petrona left to fetch breakfast for both of them. Demyan sat down at the window bench looking out of it at his former castle smiling peacefully. The black cat lay down on his lap happily purring. He felt the light breeze grazing his cheeks and playing with his hair. He was reminiscing about the night before. Demyan closed his eyes to bring back those pictures.

After he closed the door he put her down stroking her cheek and drowning in her hazel eyes. Demyan bent over to touch her forehead with his and hugged her tightly in his arms. Petrona kept still, didn't protest, and after a few seconds raised her arms to reciprocate his gesture. She was done with her inner fighting. Petrona felt happy in his presence.
Of course, as a gentleman, he didn't push for anything more, just to lay down and sleep side by side with each other. He was facing Petrona carresing her cheek in the moonlight shine. The cat joined them at the foot of the bed sleeping on their blanket. Demyan never felt such kind of peace and happiness. He wished to be like this from now on and forever.  

Demyan opened his eyes feeling the warm sun on his skin, slowly running his hand through the fur of the napping kitty cat. He leaned on his arm smiling at the peaceful feline. Demyan began thinking of what kind of food will Petrona bring this time?
She always tries to introduce him to different types of meals. She was gone for far too long, then Mirko barged into the room. Something he never had done. Demyan looked angrily and puzzled at him. "THEY TOOK HER! THEY ARE GOING TO BURN HER!"
Like an arrow, something struck his heart. The cat picked up his vampire side gaining power over him. It jumped down scared with its tail like a half moon pointing down, running under the bed to hide.
Demyan immediately averted from Mirko. In a split of a second out of rage, he transformed into his real vampire form. Facing out of the window, his eyes glowed even in the bright daylight, he covered his vampire fangs with his hand, which grew dark black claws. His brown human hair was replaced by his beautiful raven hair.
In the heat of the moment, Mirko didn't notice anything happening right in front of him. He was too occupied with the bad news he brought.  Adrik lying again on the roof of the corridor sadly sighed. "So, it finally begins..." Mirko distraught started to explain to Demyan. "She was caught by Angelika's men and accused of stealing royal jewelry... some kind of a very valuable ring made out of Obsidian..." 
Demyan froze, changed back to his human form, and walked over to the dresser opening the drawers. He sought the ring he gifted her, but it wasn't in its place. Angelika must have stolen it! Demyan turned toward Mirko and calmly assured him, that everything will be all right. At least he thought so. "Don't worry, it's a huge misunderstanding. The ring, which they found was a present from ME! We have to go and explain those ridiculous accusations to them."
Mirko halfway calmed down, he trusted Prince Yan, but at the same time, he knew the laws of his country...
Adrik followed both of them with his eyes, making their way to the town capital, where the trail would be held. He knows how the whole thing will turn out, but at what cost... He stretched his arm in front of him, folding up his sleeve.
He looked at the time travel cracks he acquired by involving himself too much. He looked up into the clear sky of the Lush Lands and felt guilty. Should he have been more persistent? But it would probably have taken his life.
Adrik was contemplating, if Petrona was aware, what those cracks were. Her reaction the day before, after him asking her to leave was a clear indication. She must seen something before giving him the final answer. Did she know it meant danger for her, but refused him anyway to protect him? A demon? It made him mad. He dipped his face into his palms out of frustration.

It didn't take long for Demyan and Mirko to arrive at their destination. They went straight to the center, where the courthouse was situated. The guards tried to stop them, but Demyan stared them down and Mirko made them aware of his identity. They lowered their weapons and let them pass inside.
The door flung open. The judges were outraged and the crowd began to whisper.
Mirko: "Please, stand up for the Highness... Prince YAN!" The shocking revelation made them all shut up. You could hear a pin drop to the ground. Yan ran his eyes through the room to find Petrona.

He clenched his fist in rage at the same time as he froze over, because of the horrifying condition Petrona was in.