- to lead astray, to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty
- to seduce, to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises, to carry out physical seduction
- treachery, violation of allegiance, act of treason, betrayal of trust
Manya paced in the cave. Her nerves were frizzling with anger, and with fear because she had killed the young man she loved. He had fallen in love with the one known as the Temptress – the daughter of Count Basarab Musat, ruler of the vampires.
Petya, Manya’s brother, stood quietly in the shadows watching his sister. He knew what she had done, however had, as of yet, said nothing to her. As he watched his sister’s guilt eating away at her, he decided it was time to speak up. “Sister, it’s time we talked.”
Manya startled at her brother’s voice. “Petya … how long have you been here?”
“Long enough. The sun has set; shall we take a walk?”
Manya slipped her arm through Petya’s and he led her out of the cave.
Finally, Petya took the plunge. “Why’d you do it, Manya? Akos was our friend. Better to tell me what you’ve done before you approach our father.”
Manya stopped walking. She stared at the ground, avoiding eye contact, then slowly poured out her heart. “I loved him … everyone knew, but him. He was too blind to pick up on my clues. He betrayed my love by becoming besotted with her – Samara, the Temptress. How could I face everyone here when he returned with his royal bride? I would have been the laughing stock…”
“No one would have dared to laugh at you,” Petya replied. “From the rumours, Samara is beautiful indeed, but only on the outside. There’s evil in her; she is putrid with the desire for power. She desires the throne and will stop at nothing to attain it.”
“From where have you heard such rumours?”
“How does he know so much?”
“Through his travels. He gains access to places, gleans information, and reports back to our father. I listen from the shadows.”
“I don’t trust Rasputin,” Manya began. “Something about him isn’t right.”
“He’s a rogue, therefore not rightly one of us. But, he’s a powerful rogue. It’s rumoured that the Black Witch is the one who turned him.”
“The Black Witch? I’ve heard stories of her, but never believed her to be real.”
“I heard Rasputin chanting one morning, calling to the Black Witch: ‘Oh great and powerful one, hear my words … Black Witch – Dark Wolf – of the mountains, of the forests, of the rivers, of the plains … come to me … let me drink from my mother’s blood … let me feel your power course through my veins, giving me the strength I need to do your will … Adrianna Daciana, the Dark Wolf of all that is might in our world … the true ruler of the vampires … and all else…’ At that point, I continued to my room.”
Manya and Petya continued their conversation about Rasputin, unaware that he was lurking in the shadows, listening. He would need to tell his mistress the good news. The Black Witch would be pleased to know she could use Manya’s jealousy toward Samara to her advantage!