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C1 Prologue

"Damon, you must always remember who you are!" his mother gasped, her words punctuated by fits of severe coughing that echoed through the room.

"I will, Mom. I promise. You need to take your medicine now," Damon implored, his eyes filled with concern for his frail mother.

"I'm dying, Damon. Those little pills can't help me anymore," she whispered, instilling fear in the heart of the thirteen-year-old boy.

"We have to get you to the hospital, Mom, please," Damon pleaded desperately.

"Not this time, son. I'm tired, Damon. I just need rest. But promise me, promise that you'll never forget who you are. They took everything from us. Everything! They killed your father, just as surely as if they had walked up and stabbed him in the heart. If they hadn't stolen everything he'd worked so hard for his entire life, he wouldn't have died like this. He wouldn't have left us all alone and penniless."

"I know, Mom. I'll make them pay. I promise you, I will..." Damon trailed off, fighting back tears.

"Don't you shed tears, boy! You better not disgrace me in my dying moments. Do you hear me?" his mother scolded.

"Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry, Mom," Damon responded, willing to say anything to ease her suffering.

His mother had been harsh, both verbally and physically, but she was still his mother. She had faced a hard life, especially after having him. He knew he was a burden to her, which was why he needed to fulfill his promise.

"I'm going to sleep now, Damon. If I don't wake up this time, you must never forget why I'm dying like this. You must never forget it's those people, those rotten bastards who left us like this. If they hadn't taken everything, I'd be all better. I could have afforded the medicine I needed to stay alive. You could have gone to a good school. Get them, Damon. Get them good."

His mother's voice faded as she closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. Fifteen minutes later, her breathing ceased.

Damon remained by her bedside for another hour before finally leaving the room. A solitary tear escaped his dark green eyes. He didn't look back at her lifeless body; there was nothing left worth taking. They had nothing of value in their home. His clothes were tattered, and their cupboards were barren. He had never received a gift, and there was nothing in the apartment worth salvaging. It was their fault, all of it.

He walked away from that place, vowing never to return to such conditions, though he would never forget the suffering he had endured. Revenge was his only goal, and he didn't care how long it would take.

Four years later, Damon strode confidently through the schoolyard, seeking a fight. The other boys avoided making eye contact with him, accustomed to the determined set of his shoulders and the fire in his eyes, inviting a challenge. He was just waiting for someone to provoke him, offering an excuse to unleash his anger.

They knew they would lose if they dared to confront him, well aware of his lightning-quick punches, having witnessed numerous brawls in the past. Despite the constant rage simmering within him, Damon stayed in school because he had made a promise to his mother. He had to finish school and succeed to seek revenge on those responsible for his parents' deaths.

"Shut up, skank!" he heard a girl being pushed to the ground by a group of others. Normally, he wouldn't intervene in such situations, as he never struck girls, regardless of his internal fury. He turned to walk away when one of the bullies grabbed the girl's hair and yanked her head back, spitting in her face.

The small girl, dressed in tattered clothing like his own, was sobbing while another girl slapped her. Damon scanned the area, wondering where the teachers were. No one seemed to be stepping in to stop the bullying.

Another girl in the group kicked the victim in the ribs, and Damon decided he had seen enough. He approached the group.

"Want to try that on me?" he thundered across the yard.

"Go away, white trash," one of the snobby girls retorted, loosening her grip on the girl to glare at him.

Damon flashed her a wicked grin, letting her believe he was unhinged. She could run home crying to her mother, recounting how a dangerous guy had nearly harmed her.

"You better listen to your friend, Stacy," he paused, "before something really bad happens," he warned, menacingly approaching the ringleader.

She stumbled backward, finally realizing the danger she was in. Her anger dissolved, replaced by fear.

"I'm telling Mr. Sorenson," she threatened as she backed away.

"Go ahead. In fact, I think I'll escort this girl to his office right now," Damon told her.

The group of bullies scattered, racing to beat him to the principal's office. Damon didn't care what they had to say. It was clear that the girl on the ground had been the victim.

"Thank you," she wheezed as he bent down to assess her injuries.

"I'm going to pick you up. You need to see the nurse," he said gently, reaching out to wipe away the spittle the other girl had left on her face. She was trembling all over.

"I'm fine," she insisted, attempting to sit up.

"Yeah, real fine," he retorted sarcastically, but there was no anger in his words. He felt nothing but sympathy for the girl.

Carefully, he slid his arms beneath her legs and back and lifted her into his arms, noticing how her emaciated body felt against his own.

"What's your name?" she asked as she rested her head against his chest. Damon's cold heart warmed at the sound of her trust.


"I'm Trinity. Thanks for saving me," she said before she lost consciousness in his arms. He quickened his pace and rushed to the nurse's office, where she immediately called an ambulance.

From that day on, Damon and Trinity became inseparable. She was his best friend, confidante, family, and sister. She was the only person in the world who kept his demons at bay, reminding him to love instead of just hate.

She was also the only woman he trusted as the years passed. He used women for his own satisfaction, without guilt, because the women he dated used him just as much, taking advantage of his name, power, and whatever they could get from him.

Damon never forgot where he came from or the promise he made to his mother, although there were times when it faded into the background of his mind. Trinity was the reason he remembered to love instead of hate. His quest for revenge would never waver, no matter how long it took.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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