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Once upon a time, on the other side of the moon, a powerful sorcerer lived in a huge castle which was surrounded by a moat filled with two-headed alligators. The sorcerer lived alone, save for a deaf-mute who prepared his meals and cleaned the castle, and the two creatures who dwelled in an enchanted dungeon in the cellar. He had imprisoned them for his own amusement because the deaf-mute wasn't much company, having little to say. The prisoners lived in a large cage made of silver bars, divided by a thin but impenetrable wall – also made of silver, with a single, narrow opening through which the two interacted.


One of the creatures was a vampyre – a tall, muscular male in his prime with shoulder-length black hair heavily threaded with silver, and deep-brown eyes.


The other was an elf, a delicate female of rare beauty, with waist-length hair the color of moonlight and eyes as clear and blue as a mid-summer sky.


In order for the elf to survive, she had to allow the vampyre to drink from her each night.

Each evening, a meal fit for a queen appeared in the vampyre's half of the cage. It was meant for the elf. If she did not allow the vampyre, whose name was Xander, to feed, she did not eat.


The elf – whose name was Alyana – prayed day and night for death. The vampyre could give it to her, but of course, he would not, for if she died, he would be denied nourishment. She had, on occasion, refused to eat the sumptuous meals the sorcerer provided, but after a few days, the severe hunger pangs grew stronger than her desire for death.


And the days passed.


And life never changed.