Tiana woke up, finding herself on a couch, somewhere she didn’t know. She felt a soft blanket that was wrapped around her, but she threw it off.
A voice came from around her, rough, low in tone, and somehow relaxing. “I see you’re awake. Now, when you get up, go to the dining hall. There, a man called Dante Eamon will find you.
Were the pendant and keep the clothes you’re wearing on. He’ll explain everything to you as you go.”
“Where am I?!” She shouted at the voice, knowing inside that he wouldn’t answer. The lights were on, and it was dark outside.
The full moon shone through the window, casting silver lining on the buildings and figures that walked around.
She left the room and headed to the dining hall, checking to make sure the pendant was still around her neck.
Tiana opened the large double doors to a dining hall. It was large with a thin, long table in the middle and exits and entries for servants and guests.
Where am I? She asked herself, wandering around the room. Her brown hair was up in a loose braid, reaching to her shoulder blades, swaying as she walked.
A tall, thin man wearing a black suit walked towards her. He extended a light tan hand. “Dante Eamon. Pleased to meet you, Tiana.” She shook his hand slowly, smiling fakely. “Follow me.
” He ordered, turning on his heel as he started to walk down towards the end of the room.
Dante’s curly black hair was slicked back, reaching to the base of his neck. Electric blue eyes shone from under some stray wisps of hair that fell in front of his face.
His pale lips were in a tight line as he walked to the end of the room. Tiana hurried to keep up with his fast paced strides, wrapping her arms around herself. “So, who is the Collector?”
“He’s the Collector.”
“Why’s he called that?”
“Girls who ask too many questions end up dead.”
“No, they tend to live longer than the idiots.”
“To each their own opinion.” Dante said roughly. He turned to a door with a mechanic lock, a screen with buttons beneath glowed faintly.
“Please enter PIN.” Said an automated voice from the lock. Dante sighed as he entered a PIN. “Incorrect.” Said the voice.
Dante said something in a different language that Tiana didn’t understand, then entered a different PIN. 33651.
Why so many numbers? Tiana asked herself, following Dante through the door. He must have heard her thinking because he answered quickly.
“Security reasons.” He slipped a silver ring with a dark red jewel on his right hand, then handed another to Tiana. “Put it on your pointer finger on your right hand.
We’re going to enter the door right over there. Hold your breath, don’t breathe until I tell you too.”
Tiana nodded, putting the ring on. Its dark red jewel was cut into an oval shape, and the silver band spiraled around the jewel. Maybe it’s a ruby.
Where is the door? She wondered, scanning the walls. Dante tapped on one of the walls. A doorknob appeared on the wall. He twisted it, then pushed the wall with his shoulder.
A dark red light emanated from the door, shadows of creatures and people fell on the floor before them.
Dante tightly held her hand. “Hold your breath.” Tiana nodded, holding in large breath of air. He took a deep breath, then jumped through the door, taking Tiana down with him.