Mara stood in front of the mirror, checking every last detail. Makeup: perfect. Hair: glorious. Cleavage: hell yes. Just one final touch before she could go downstairs.
She’d been waiting for this wedding her whole life. From a tender young age, her mother had told her stories of how wonderful her wedding night would be. Fantastical tales of what a young woman can expect from her first taste of marriage. It all sounded so delicious.
Stepping into her delicate heels, Mara glided down the hall to the spiral staircase, every step the picture of elegance. Tiny crystals woven into her gown glittered in the lights from the sconces. Every nerve ending quivered with the knowledge that she was about to join an elite society of matriarchs, an unbroken line stretching back centuries.
As she crossed the threshold of the cathedral, the organ played a beautiful yet haunting tune. Not quite a traditional processional, but then again her family had its own traditions. Mara had no father to give her away, so she marched alone down the aisle with all the grace and poise demanded of a woman of her stature. A woman on the verge of marriage was considered quite powerful in Mara’s family.
She reached the altar and turned to face her soon-to-be husband. Her excitement was such that she nearly forgot her vows.
To love. To honor. To become one with this glorious male specimen before her.
The priestess—one of Mara’s cousins—finished the ceremony and declared them husband and wife. All five hundred attendants rose in unison. Five hundred of Mara’s closest family members.
The kiss was announced, and Mara’s new husband lifted her veil. She smiled, exposing razor sharp, sparkling white canines, and gave the terrified man the last kiss of his life.
All in all, it took less than twenty minutes for Mara to clean the flesh from his bones. She used her veil to wipe the blood from her mouth as more than a dozen generations of women applauded her new eternal life.