Six weeks earlier...
At 6am Avalon rose from bed, pushed the sleep from his eyes, and set about beginning another day ruling his kingdom. He had such plans for today; a bit of torture, a bit of berating Glade, a lot of Marylena... But there was something wrong there.
As Avalon looked at Marylena, who stood in the corner of the bedroom ticking over, he knew that something was amiss. The clockwork doll was quiet as she always was- the flesh stretched over her metal lips was no basis for sound- but it was something more than that. She stood frozen, her eyes clinging to the closed doorway, her body barely moving... but her heart- it's hollow tick grew louder; formed a crescendo, like an alarm going off...
It was then that Avalon discovered Glade and Maia were gone.
Marylena could only listen in abject terror as Avalon's vicious howl echoed through the rooms. She closed her eyes, the lids creaking shut in deep satisfaction as she thought of her children, hopefully now safe on the other side of the world. She was able to experience joy for the first time in years, but this was mirrored by an overwhelming fear of what Avalon would do to her if he knew she was involved in Glade and Maia's disappearance. But then she realised- how could it be any worse than what he did to her now on a daily basis?
Walking out into the hallway she prepared to greet her King, returning to faithful servant mode as always, but the malice etched on his face made her tremble inside. She tried her best to tell lies with her features, but though her mechanical shell masked most sins, her eyes always told the truth. In end she had to turn from him, but it was too late- he had seen what she tried desperately to conceal.
As Marylena turned her back on him Avalon felt his blood burn. How could this... this thing betray him like this? He didn't know exactly what involvement Marylena had in the escape, or even how she had managed it, only that she was guilty of disobeying her King, and that deserved a punishment worse than death. In truth all Avalon's punishments were worse than death...
But there was no time for that. The more pressing matter was catching up to Glade and Maia- his defective bride would have to wait. He gave her a hit of his justice to educate her for now, and then he was on his way out the door.
For weeks after that Avalon scoured the neighbouring lands searching for any trace of Glade and Maia. The reason behind his actions seemed to get lost as time went on- his plans of passing the kingdom on to Glade when he died were redundant, and it was pure revenge in the driving seat.
Maybe he had been foolish thinking Glade could rule anyway- the boy was weak and relied too much on his feelings. No, Avalon would hold onto his kingdom until it was wrenched from his aching grasp. But before that time came he would make Glade pay for defying him.
And so to now- the moment when Avalon finally caught up with Glade. As he watched his son embrace the woman next to him, Avalon felt his teeth grind together in a fury. He could smell the girl from here- the scent of her perfume intoxicating him; cutting out all reason until only the pleasure drive remained. He could take her now...
No. No this had to be planned- Avalon couldn't let his libido take over, nor could he just rush up to Glade and destroy him there and then. This would require logic and strategy. He needed to take his sweet time in ending Glade; first ripping everything he cared about away from him. But he couldn't do it alone. A scheme of this magnitude would require accomplices.
Avalon needed to go into the depths of Riverview, and seek the demons out.
La Crypte was the dark place- the void where all the bad elements came to writhe in the shadows. In a town like Riverview the sinful souls often outnumbered the good, so you could be sure that the bar always had more than a few creatures lurking inside. This night was no different.
As Avalon entered the premises he took a seat at the bar and ordered a drink. He made the pretense of acting like he was just thirsty, maybe in need of a little company, but really he was listening. The hum of conversation pulsed around him and Avalon sorted through it- discarding the useless on his search for something better. In time he found it.
There, in the darkest corner of the room, the vampires reigned supreme. Drake and Silver were well known thoughout the town, so much so that even the cruelest hearts of Riverview kept their distance. For most people being wicked is something they choose, even if they don't realise it at the time, but for vampires it's different. With one broken bite the soul dies but the body is reborn; without consequence, without reason. The vampire lives for pleasure, for pain, for blood. Silver and Drake embodied this spirit fully, and Avalon knew that would make them the perfect partners in crime.
As Avalon walked over and took a seat at the vampires' table, Silver turned sharply and spat out a hostile hiss. She wasn't use to this sort of behaviour, and most people paid for it with their lives, but when Avalon didn't retreat at her expression she was left puzzling.
Avalon only took a brief moment to introduce himself to the creatures, and then he launched into what he wanted from them. He paused and stared slightly as Drake let out a bitter laugh from the other side of the table, and after this he focused all his attention on Silver. She responded rather more favourably to Avalon's words- a cunning grin present on her face as she listened to his plan.
On the opposite side of the room the other patrons could only observe as the King and the vampires plotted the destruction of another. They knew what was coming, but they couldn't have stopped it even if they wanted to. Avalon and Silver were two creatures both diabolical in design, and destructive in nature. The days to come were likely to be full of pain and suffering, and just one thing was certain. Not everyone would be getting out alive.
Back at home Glade was in a jubilant mood. After his meeting with Lexie yesterday he could barely have a minute pass without thinking of her. Her eyes, her lips, her everything... He was simply enchanted.
With no way to contact Lexie, Glade could only wait for some sort of sign from her. Eventually his wishes were answered when he found a letter in his mailbox asking him to meet her in the park later that night. Anticipation made him nervous but Glade remained excited as took a bath, got dressed, and prepared to meet her.
Staying at home just waiting would have been maddening, so instead he headed to Kale and Heather's. Glade had told them a bit about Lexie, but he didn't exactly know a whole lot himself so he could only share so much. Kale's response had been to smile and congratulate his friend, whereas Heather had a more teasing style. All in all though, they were happy for Glade and said they couldn't wait to meet her.
As the moon began to rise Glade prepared to leave. He kissed Maia and said began to say goodbye to Kale and Heather.
Meanwhile, outside, a catastrophe loomed.
Her teeth were sharp, impatient, and ravenous.